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La Course: Van der Breggen wins solo on the Champs-Élysées

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The women faced awful conditions for the second La Course

The women faced awful conditions for the second La Course (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv)

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Vera Koedooder (Bigla)

Vera Koedooder (Bigla) (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Tiffany Cromwell and Christine Majerus stay at the front

Tiffany Cromwell and Christine Majerus stay at the front (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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The second edition of La Course by Tour de France

The second edition of La Course by Tour de France (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Crashes plagued the second edition of La Course by Tour de France

Crashes plagued the second edition of La Course by Tour de France (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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The second edition of La Course by Tour de France

The second edition of La Course by Tour de France (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans)

Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans) (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur)

Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins La Course by Le Tour de France

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins La Course by Le Tour de France
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The second edition of La Course by Tour de France

The second edition of La Course by Tour de France (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins a rain-soaked La Course

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins a rain-soaked La Course
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) victory salute on the Champs-Elysees

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) victory salute on the Champs-Elysees
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The peloton contest a rain-soaked La Course

The peloton contest a rain-soaked La Course
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Riders line up for the second edition of La Course in Paris

Riders line up for the second edition of La Course in Paris
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins La Course by one second

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins La Course by one second
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Ale Cipollini lost sprinter Shelley Olds to a crash and mechanical

Ale Cipollini lost sprinter Shelley Olds to a crash and mechanical
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins solo, holds off chasing peloton by one second

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins solo, holds off chasing peloton by one second
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There were many crashes on the slippery roads in Paris during La Course

There were many crashes on the slippery roads in Paris during La Course
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The peloton wide across the Champs-Elysees in Paris

The peloton wide across the Champs-Elysees in Paris
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Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) in a solo breakaway

Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) in a solo breakaway
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US road champion Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans)

US road champion Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans)
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Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) and World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead

Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) and World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead
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World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans)

World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans)
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The peloton cautious on the slippery roads

The peloton cautious on the slippery roads
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Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) makes a move

Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) makes a move
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World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv)

World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv)
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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins the second edition of La Course

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) wins the second edition of La Course

Anna Van Der Breggen (Rabo Liv Woman Cycling Team) claimed La Course by Le Tour de France after holding off the entire chasing pack on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

"I can’t believe it," van der Breggen said. "We had good plan with the team and Pauline [Ferrand-Prévot] was going for the sprint because she’s from France and this race is important to her. We had a plan that I would attack and that was good because it meant that other teams had to chase me. I managed to to keep it up until the finish.

"We had more options today, of course it was a hectic race and we had to be in front but Pauline was well supported all day if it was going to be a sprint..

"This is one of the biggest races that I’ve won. We’re on the Champs-Élysées with all these people and it’s a great race to ride. We all like it. It was a bit dangerous but it was a beautiful race."

Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle Honda) finished second with Amy Pieters (Team Liv-Plantur) in third on a rain-soaked finish that was full of attacking, exiting racing and crashes. World champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo Liv Woman Cycling Team) was one of the riders who crashed on the final corner of the final lap.

Van Der Breggen attacked with 6km to go and despite a valiant chase from the peloton she was able to hang on and win by one second. Britain’s Lizzie Armistead (Boels Dolmans) finished in fourth place.

How it unfolded

Held in conjunction with the final stage of the Tour de France, the women’s La Course, was once again held along the Champs-Élysées before the men raced onto the circuit to contest the end of stage 21 of the French Grand Tour.

Rabo-Liv’s Marianne Vos wasn’t on the start line to defend her title for the second edition of the one-day circuit race due to a lingering injury, however, there were a number of world-class sprinters and all-rounders ready to take that top step on the podium in Paris.

In contrast to the beautiful, sunny weather of last year’s race, the women lined up under rain on the Champs-Élysées start line. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, gave the official start and sent the women on their way.

The start-finish line was held out front of the Grand and Petit Palais. The peloton raced toward the Arc de Triomphe and around the Place Charles de Gaulle. They headed back down the Champs-Élysées, passing through the start-finish line and toward the Place de la Concorde and Jardins des Tuileries, looped down along the Quai des Tuileries, Avenue du General Lemonnier and up Rue de Rivoli back toward the start-finish line.

The course was challenging because of the slight changes in gradient, with long stretches slightly uphill, and the vibrations from racing over the cobbled sections of the course took a toll on the riders’ legs during the 13 laps, 89km.

Several crashes during the first few laps of the race caused some decisive splits early on but many of the separated riders were able to reunite with the front group. There were also a few small attacks but nothing stuck as riders were trying to get through the slippery road conditions safely. Maura Kinsella (Optum) was one of several riders who slipped out and crashed while the peloton was slowing to turn a corner.

Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) was the first rider to make a strong attack and built an advantage of 17 seconds with 42km to go.

Boels Dolmans amassed at the front of the field with US champion Megan Guarnier and World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead. Velocio-SRAM also fielded riders closer to the front with Tiffany Cromwell and Lisa Brennauer.

Shelley Olds (Ale Cipollini) crashed on the cobbled section, which was a blow to her team as she was one of the favourites for a podium position. It was the second time during the race that the American sprinter was caught out because of a crash and forced to chase back up to the main field. Her chase was hampered, however, when her rear derailleur fell off, likely due to the crash, and she was forced to pull off to the side of the road.

A combination of effort from teams Wiggle-Honda, Boels Dolmans, Optum and Hitec Products forced the pace at the front of the field, but it was the effort of van der Breggen, the recent winner of the Giro Rosa, that brought Elvin back into the fold.

Elena Cecchini (Lotto Soudal Ladies) was briefly caught off the back due to a mechanical but managed to chase back on. The Italian road champion was a top contender for the sprint after two podium finishes at the Giro Rosa, and she was recently third overall at the BeNe Ladies Tour.

Just as the Italian reconnected with the field, however, a crash took her down along with Severine Eraud (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86) with 20km to go.

At the front of the field the aggressive racing continued with Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS), who made a strong attack with just under 20km to go, which was almost immediately countered by her teammate and recent Thüringen Rundfahrt winner Emma Johansson.

Wild, second to Vos last year, was forced to drop off the back of the pack with 10km to go with a mechanical and although she did briefly catch back up, she spent some time dangling off the back of the field with lingering bike problems. She eventually made it back into the field ahead of the last lap, with support from her Hitec Products teammates.

As the peloton received the bell signifying the last lap of the race, Bigla Pro Cycling emerged as the leading team on the road. Rabo-Liv tried to disrupt the pace set by the emerging sprinters' teams, as van der Breggen attacked the field and gained a few seconds.

Boels Dolmans moved to the front to try and bring van der Breggen back, but with no help from the other teams, the strong Dutch rider continued to pick up additional seconds as the kilometres ticked down to the finish line.

Lining up behind Boels Dolmans were Hitec Products, followed by Wiggle-Honda, Velocio-SRAM and Liv Plantur. A crash through the final corner brought done Ferrand-Prévot along with many other riders.

It looked as though the sprinters’ charge would be enough to catch van der Breggen in the final few hundred metres, but they missed out by just one second as van der Breggen crossed the finish line with the victory.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team2:05:01
2Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda0:00:01
3Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
4Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
5Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Bigla Pro Cycling Team
6Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio - SRAM
7Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - Ais
8Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
9Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products
10Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
11Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
12Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Liv-Plantur0:00:05
13Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle Honda
14Joelle Numainville (Can) Bigla Pro Cycling Team
15Carmen Small (USA) Bigla Pro Cycling Team
16Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
17Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio - SRAM
18Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle Honda0:00:08
19Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda
20Mia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana
21Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
22Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
23Christina Siggaard (Den) Matrix Fitness
24Coryn Rivera (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
25Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo
26Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:00:16
27Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur0:00:20
28Trixi Worrack (Ger) Velocio - SRAM
29Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Velocio - SRAM
30Fanny Riberot (Fra) Lointek Team0:00:31
31Iris Sachet (Fra) France
32Amy Cure (Aus) Lotto Soudal Ladies
33Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo
34Coralie Demay (Fra)
35Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - Ais0:00:42
36Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - Ais
37Vera Koedooder (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:00:46
38Anouska Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
39Helen Wyman (GBr) Matrix Fitness0:00:48
40Mathilde Favre (Fra) France0:00:51
41Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) INPA Sottoli Giusfredi0:00:54
42Nina Kessler (Ned) Lensworld.eu - Zannata0:00:56
43Lucy Martin (GBr) Matrix Fitness
44Rushlee Buchanan (NZl) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
45Loren Rowney (Aus) Velocio - SRAM
46Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - Ais
47Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
48Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
49Lizzie Williams (Aus) Orica - Ais
50Katie Hall (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:01:14
51Charlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec Products0:01:15
52Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products0:01:16
53Julia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur0:01:20
54Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo0:01:34
55Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) INPA Sottoli Giusfredi0:01:58
56Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:02:24
57Hannah Barnes (GBr) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
58Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
59Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:02:37
60Emilie Aubry (Swi) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:03:55
61Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
62Miriam Bjørnsrud (Nor) Hitec Products0:03:56
OTLMegan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFAnnie Ewart (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFAriane Horbach (Ger) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFMaura Kinsella (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFAlison Tetrick (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFBrianna Walle (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFEleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
DNFTayler Wiles (USA) Velocio - SRAM
DNFEmilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle Honda
DNFAmy Roberts (GBr) Wiggle Honda
DNFChloe Mcconville (Aus) Orica - Ais
DNFIris Slappendel (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team
DNFLucy Garner (GBr) Team Liv-Plantur
DNFClaudia Häusler (Ger) Team Liv-Plantur
DNFCari Higgins (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFAlexis Ryan (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFAude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFCharlotte Bravard (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFSéverine Eraud (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFAmélie Rivat (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFElena Cecchini (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFIsabelle Beckers (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFJessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFCarlee Taylor (Aus) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFSusanna Zorzi (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFFiona Dutriaux (Fra)
DNFSoline Lamboley (Fra) Lointek Team
DNFShelley Olds (USA) Ale Cipollini
DNFAnnalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Ale Cipollini
DNFArianna Fidanza (Ita) Ale Cipollini
DNFMalgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Ale Cipollini
DNFMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini
DNFNel De Crits (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo
DNFDemmy Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo
DNFAnn-Sofie Duyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Pro - Duo
DNFClaudia Cretti (Ita) INPA Sottoli Giusfredi
DNFAlice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) INPA Sottoli Giusfredi
DNFTetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) INPA Sottoli Giusfredi
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) INPA Sottoli Giusfredi
DNFKim De Baat (Ned) Lensworld.eu - Zannata
DNFMariel Borgerink (Ned) Lensworld.eu - Zannata
DNFSofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lensworld.eu - Zannata
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld.eu - Zannata
DNFKaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lensworld.eu - Zannata
DNFOlena Pavlukhina (Aze) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFUrsa Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFMartina Ritter (Aut) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFHeather Fischer (USA) Matrix Fitness
DNFKimberley Le Court De Billot (Mri) Matrix Fitness
DNFMelissa Lowther (GBr) Matrix Fitness
DNFAnna Ramirez Bauxel (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFOlga Dobrynina (Rus) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFDorleta Eskamendi Gil (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFLierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFAinara Sanz (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFElena Utrobina (Rus) Bizkaia - Durango

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