Ferrand-Prevot wins French women's road race

While Jeannie Longo was surprisingly a non-starter at the age of 55, French female cycling has found a new icon with Flèche wallonne winner Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, who claimed four national titles in three days as she won the U23 and elite time trial and road race. Her solo attack of 14 kilometers in today's road race was an impressive one.

The race was broadcasted live on French television for the first time in the wake of a new promotional campaign for women cycling leading up to La Course by Le Tour de France to be contested on the Champs-Elysées in Paris prior to the last stage of the Tour de France on July 27.

"This is just wonderful," said Ferrand-Prévot. "It's one of the nicest titles. It makes me tremendously proud, especially because I'll wear the French national jersey abroad, racing for a foreign team [Rabo women]. We've offered to the spectators and TV viewers a superb race. That was very important for women's cycling. We have shown that it wasn't a bike race contested at 10km/h. But it was a short event - only 90km - and the beginning was a bit complicated for me."

Ferrand-Prévot talked like a true professional as she described her tactics. "I had to find allies as I was racing alone", she said. "I warned Audrey Cordon [of Hitec Products] when I would attack. I knew she was my main competitor, but she was also likely to be helpful. But when a break of eight riders was formed, I thought for a little while that it was game over."

With 50km to go, Mélanie Bravard, Fanny Riberot and Mélodie Lesueur (Lointek), Oriane Chaumet and Sandrine Bideau (Poitou-Charentes-Futuroscope 86), Ludivine Loze (Midi-Pyrénées), Coralie Demay (Bretagne) and Marine Strappazzon (Franche-Comté) rode away.

Ferrand-Prévot eventually launched a counter-attack with Cordon and Aude Biannic (Lointek), but she made it across by herself and dropped everyone in the hill with 14km to go.

"I didn't think too much of how many kilometers were left," she said. "I went for a short time trial to see it would go. I didn't care much about winning or not. I wanted to give everything and put on a good show. I wouldn't even have been disappointed, had I not won. Only in the last 500 metres, I had the win in mind. Until I saw mum and dad almost crying on the road side, I was very focused. I don't know if I was the strongest, but I was hyper motivated."

Having already been crowned elite French champion for cyclo-cross, she added the time trial and road titles to her credit but she also has one more race for blue-white-red jersey in sight as she'll contest the championship for mountain bike racing in mid-July - between the Giro d'Italia and La Course by Le Tour de France.

"I want to test myself in the climbs in Italy and figure out where my limits are in such a big stage race, but we will have a very good [Rabo women's] team there, and I hope that one of us will be on the final podium," said the ambitious Ferrand-Prévot.


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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team)2:23:30
2Mélodie Lesueur (Lointek)0:01:23
3Fanny Riberot (Lointek)0:02:48
4Ludivine Loze
5Sandrine Bideau (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
6Mélanie Bravard (Lointek)
7Coralie Demay0:02:51
8Marine Strappazzon0:02:52
9Audrey Cordon (Hitec Products)0:04:42
10Elise Delzenne (Specialized-lululemon)
11Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
12Pascale Jeuland (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
13Iris Sachet
14Marion Sicot
15Séverine Eraud
16Amelie Rivat (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
17Eugénie Duval
18Noëline Delbove
19Emilie Rochedy
20Cynthia Huygens
21Kelly Gambier
22Marion Rousse (Lotto Belisol Ladies)
23Jean De Saint (Magdaléna)
24Alna Burato
25Anabelle Dreville
26Marjolaine Bazin
27Joanne Duval
28Oriane Chaumet (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
29Bérengère Staelens
30Nathalie Jeuland
31Aude Biannic (Lointek)
32Sophie Creux
33Lucie Pader (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
34Charlotte Bravard (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
35Edwige Pitel (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox)
36Aodez Le Fourn
37Fanny Leleu
38Sandra Levenez0:13:16
39Hélène1 Gerard0:16:21
40Loriane Ceyssat
41Eva Colin
42Manon Souyris (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
43Audrey Menut
44Emeline Azam
45Julie Boucher
46Pauline Allin0:21:49
47Jennifer Mark
48Morgane Coston
49Alessia Bugeia0:21:51
50Marine Quiniou0:21:52
51Sarah Thibaud
52Chloë Turblin0:25:42
53Emilie Gousse
54Cécile Delaire
55Beatrice Thomas
56Stéphanie Legrand
57Mélanie Briot
58Segolene Leberon
59Audrey Pourtier
60Marie-aline Bera
61Eloïse Bec0:25:44
DNFOphelie Fenart
DNFMathilde Favre
DNFManon Bourdiaux
DNFAurore Verhoeven (Lointek)
DNFNoemie Dumas
DNFMarlene Petit
DNFMarie Comet
DNFMélanie Pette
DNFMargaux Cadol
DNFJennifer Letue
DNFFleur Faure
DNFCéline Ondet
DNFFiona Dutriaux (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86)
DNFMarine Lemarie
DNFPauline Cantele
DNSJeannie Longo


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