Brand secures win at GP de Plouay-Bretagne

With Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) having tied up the Road World Cup victory at last week's Crescent Vårgårda, the last round of the series was all about a final attempt at glory, as the peloton faced the tough, hilly course.

The GP Plouay is always a dramatic finish to the World Cup series, with a course that changes regularly, but always includes short, punchy climbs and descents that are perfect for attacks. This year it was 121.5km, four laps of 27km with three climbs each, then a last loop missing out the northern part but keeping the two steepest climbs, including the Côte de Ty-Marrec 4km from the end.

All eyes were on Rabobank-Liv, as Marianne Vos had won here in 2012 and 2013, and been a major factor in her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten's win in 2011 – but the Dutch team blew these expectations out of the water. The question had been who they'd ride for, and they answered this with an all Rabo podium, Lucinda Brand winning solo ahead of Vos and Ferrand-Prévot, Van der Breggen coming fifth.

Brand had been especially active in this race, fighting with and against Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon) forcing breaks and splits, so that by the last 35km there were just 20 riders in front. This was whittled down to an elite group of champions, with Rabo always over-represented, four in a group of ten, then, when Brand and Cromwell seemed like they’d been finally dropped in the last 7km, three in a group of seven – Vos, Van der Breggen and Ferrand-Prévot against Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products), Armitstead, Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico-Faren) and World Cup Queen of the Mountains Alena Amialiusik (Astana-BePink).

But Brand and Cromwell would not give up, and when the pair caught that front group one last time, Brand didn't pause to draw breath, but attacked again, this time getting clear, with her lead quickly getting up to 48 seconds.

This was the point the race was lost for the others, as fear of exhausting themselves to help the Rabo's attack later, or just plain exhaustion meant the chase wasn't coordinated. Although Brand suffered and lost time on the final climb, she made it to the finish solo for the biggest win of her career. This has been a spectacular 2014 for the 25-year-old Dutchwoman, supporting her team-mates throughout the year, and in return having team support to win her first stage race, the Energiewacht Tour in April, and now her first World Cup.

Armitstead, Longo Borghini and Johansson all attacked out of the chase to try to catch Brand, or slip away for the podium, but the group came to the finish together, Vos out-sprinting the opposition as only she can, with Ferrand-Prévot on her wheel – the perfect finish to the World Cup for the team that has consistently animated the races.
 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team3:08:26
2Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:56
3Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 3 - Cell 2
5Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AISRow 5 - Cell 2
7Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec ProductsRow 6 - Cell 2
8Elizabeth Armitstead (Gbr) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Astana Bepink Womens TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized - LululemonRow 9 - Cell 2
11Audrey Cordon (Fra) Hitec Products0:02:57
12Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Megan Guarnier (Usa) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica - AISRow 13 - Cell 2
15Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Rsa) Hitec ProductsRow 14 - Cell 2
16Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jessie Daams (Bel) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Evelyn Stevens (Usa) Specialized - LululemonRow 17 - Cell 2
19Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 18 - Cell 2
20Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Alé Cipollini0:04:57
22Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 21 - Cell 2
23Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 22 - Cell 2
24Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized - LululemonRow 23 - Cell 2
25Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Esp) LointekRow 24 - Cell 2
26Irene San Sebastian Lasa (Esp) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 25 - Cell 2
27Lauren Hall (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 26 - Cell 2
28Joanne Kiesanowski (Nzl) Tibco / To The TopRow 27 - Cell 2
29Elena Valentini (Ita) BTC City LjubljanaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 29 - Cell 2
31Tayler Wiles (Usa) Specialized - LululemonRow 30 - Cell 2
32Eugénie Duval (Fra) FranceRow 31 - Cell 2
33Lara Vieceli (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 32 - Cell 2
34Edwige Pitel (Fra) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 33 - Cell 2
35Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 34 - Cell 2
36Belen Lopez Morales (Esp) LointekRow 35 - Cell 2
37Lieselot Decroix (Bel) BelgiumRow 36 - Cell 2
38Annelies Van Doorslaer (Bel) BelgiumRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Esp) Alé CipolliniRow 38 - Cell 2
40Melodie Lesueur (Fra) LointekRow 39 - Cell 2
41Janel Holcomb (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 40 - Cell 2
42Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) RusVeloRow 41 - Cell 2
43Lucie Pader (Fra) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 42 - Cell 2
44Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 44 - Cell 2
46Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AISRow 45 - Cell 2
47Carlee Taylor (Aus) Orica - AISRow 46 - Cell 2
48Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) RusVeloRow 47 - Cell 2
49Sara Olsson (Swe) Hitec ProductsRow 48 - Cell 2
50Dalia Muccioli (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Esp) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 50 - Cell 2
52Ursa Pintar (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jade Wilcoxson (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 53 - Cell 2
55Uenia Fernandes Da Souza (Bra) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 54 - Cell 2
56Andrea Dvorak (Usa) Tibco / To The TopRow 55 - Cell 2
57Julie Bresset (Fra) FranceRow 56 - Cell 2
58Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City LjubljanaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Amélie Rivat (Fra) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 58 - Cell 2
60Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto FootonRow 59 - Cell 2
61Sarah Roy (Aus) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Anna Trevisi (Ita) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 61 - Cell 2
63Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 62 - Cell 2
64Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 63 - Cell 2
65Doris Schweizer (Sui) Astana Bepink Womens TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Elena Berlato (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 65 - Cell 2
67Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Specialized - LululemonRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Tibco / To The TopRow 67 - Cell 2
69Natalia Boyarskaya (Rus) Servetto FootonRow 68 - Cell 2
70Elena Kuchinskaya (Rus) RusVeloRow 69 - Cell 2
71Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren0:05:01
72Fanny Leleu (Fra) France0:05:17
73Brianna Walle (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 72 - Cell 2
74Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Anastasiya Chulkova (Rus) RusVelo0:05:27
76Kseniya Tuhai (Blr) Astana Bepink Womens Team0:12:08
77Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) BelgiumRow 76 - Cell 2
78Yulia Blindyuk (Rus) RusVeloRow 77 - Cell 2
79Lierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Esp) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 78 - Cell 2
80Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Špela Kern (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Anisha Vekemans (Bel) BelgiumRow 81 - Cell 2
83Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Esp) LointekRow 82 - Cell 2
84Patricia Schwager (Sui) Tibco / To The TopRow 83 - Cell 2
85Martina Ritter (Aut) BTC City LjubljanaRow 84 - Cell 2
86Marijn De Vries (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFGracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - AISRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFAmanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AISRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFChloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec ProductsRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec ProductsRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFEyerusalem Kelil (Eth) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFAzzurra D'intino (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFAmanda Miller (Usa) Tibco / To The TopRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFLauren Stephens (Usa) Tibco / To The TopRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFKatarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFAnnie Ewart (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFOriane Chaumet (Fra) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFCharlotte Bravard (Fra) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFAizhan Zhaparova (Rus) RusVeloRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFAlice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFElisabet Bru (Esp) Servetto FootonRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFMarina Likhanova (Rus) Servetto FootonRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFAna Teresa Casas Bonilla (Mex) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFDorleta Eskamendi Gil (Esp) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFClemilda Fernandes Silva (Bra) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFYulia Ilinykh (Rus) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFMélanie Bravard (Fra)Row 107 - Cell 2
DNFAnabelle Dreville (Fra)Row 108 - Cell 2
DNFSéverine Eraud (Fra)Row 109 - Cell 2
DNFSofie De Vuyst (Bel) Futurumshop.Nl - ZannataRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFValerie Demey (Bel)Row 111 - Cell 2
DNFAlicia Gonzalez Blanco (Esp) LointekRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFEider Merino Kortazar (Esp) LointekRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFFloortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 114 - Cell 2

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