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Women's: GP de Plouay
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24th GP Ouest France-Plouay - 1.HC

France, August 25, 2002

Main page    Start list     Map    Results

Complete Live Report

Start time: 11:45 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:30 CEST

11:45 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews.com's coverage of the GP Ouest France-Plouay, one of the most popular one day road races in the world, with an estimated 100,000 spectators already present at the Circuit Jean-Yves Perron, which is just under 14 km in length. The riders will tackle the circuit 14 times for a total of 198 km, including two sharp climbs per lap.

The weather today is perfect - sunny with light clouds overhead, temperatures around 23 degrees celsius.

There is one non-starter today: none other than Karsten Kroon (Rabobank), who won the stage here in the Tour de France, but has crashed several times since and doesn't feel recovered enough to race today. His place will be taken by Australian Mathew Hayman.

12:16 CEST - Lap 1/14 km
The first lap has been completed at a very steady tempo, unlike last year when they raced from the gun and averaged 45 km/h all day. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) leads the whole bunch across the line, 28 minutes after the starting gun was fired. That equates to an average speed of approximately 30 km/h.

12:46 CEST - Lap 2/28 km
Bonjour leads the bunch through for the second lap, which was slightly faster than the first in a time of 26'15. The overall average speed is 31.272 km/h and the race has yet to spark.

13:06 CEST - Lap 3/42 km
During the third lap, the first attack was made by Alexandre Chouffe (St Quentin). It didn't go very far and the bucnh came back together. Then Laurent Jalabert (CSC) himself attacked on the climb before the finish, but he also didn't go far. That last lap was done in a time of 20'38, lifting the overall average to 33.65 km/h.

13:24 CEST - Lap 4/56 km
Dario Pieri (Alessio) has abandoned on the fourth lap. There are 19 riders away, including Paolo Bettini (Mapei) and Igor Astarloa (Saeco). 18 seconds behind them are Stephane Barthe (St Quentin) and Alberto Martinez (Euskaltel), with the bunch following at 1'25.

13:44 CEST - Lap 5/70 km

Paolo Bettini and Andrea Tafi
Photo: © JF Quenet
Click for larger image

The bunch is 2'55 behind the leaders, who now number 20 after Barthe got on, but Martinez did not. They include Janek Tombak, Médéric Clain (Cofidis), Cyrile Saugrain (Big Mat), Charly Wegelius and Paolo Bettini (Mapei), Igor Astarloa (Saeco), Emmanuel Magnien (Bonjour), Sandy Casar (FDJ), Jens Voigt (CA), Christophe Detilloux (Lotto), Stephane Berges and Alexandre Grux (Ag2r), Ruslan Ivanov (Alessio), Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel), Vincent Cali (Landbouwkrediet), Oliver Asmaker and Nicolas Jalabert (CSC), and Stephane Barthe (St Quentin). It's a good quality group, and quite dangerous.

Team Coast and Jean Delatour have started chasing, and have reduced the gap to 2'25, midway through the sixth lap.

We have posted some photos from the start of the race here.

14:03 CEST - Lap 6/84 km
The pace is quickening in the bunch, as they pass the start/finish line for the 6th of 14 laps. Team Coast and Delatour are still driving, and have pegged the gap to the 20 leaders to 1'40. They definitely don't want to give Bettini and Astarloa a headstart!

Alexandre Grux (Ag2r) has been dropped from the leading group.

14:23 CEST - Lap 7/98 km
The race is now at the halfway point, with 7 of the 14 laps completed. There are still 19 riders away, including Bettini, Astarloa, and Voigt with a 1'00 lead to the peloton. Team Coast is doing a lot of work to bring them back, with some help from Delatour and now Lotto.

On the climb before the finish, Igor Astarloa (Saeco) and Nicolas Jalabert (CSC) attacked, but were recaptured by the leading group.

14:40 CEST - Lap 8/112 km
Two riders have attacked the leading group on the eighth lap: Sandy Casar and Stephane Berges. Two more bridged up: Olivier Asmaker and Stephane Barthe. However, the gap is only 20 seconds to the peloton, and they will get caught.

Across the line for the eighth time, and the peloton is 20 seconds behind the leading four. There is a counter-attack involving Christophe Moreau.

14:59 CEST - Lap 9/126 km
The situation with 5 laps to go is that a new break of four riders: Andrea Tafi (Mapei), Nicolas Jalabert (CSC), Christophe Mengin (FDJeux.com), and Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio). They have 30 seconds to the peloton, led by Jens Voigt and Walter Beneteau.

Some bad news for Tyler Hamilton: The CSC-Tiscali rider was preparing for today's GP Eddy Merckx with his partner Andrea Peron, when a car door was opened just in front of him. Christian Andersen (CSC directeur sportif) said that he had no chance of avoiding the crash. Tyler has broken his collarbone and some injuries in his face. The doctors of the University hospital in Brussels say that he will recover, but Christian Andersen says that this means that Tyler's season is over (thanks to Lars Lindstrřm for this news)

Three riders have set off in pursuit of the four leaders midway through the 10th lap: Salvatore Commesso (Saeco), Christophe Oriol (Ag2r) and Davide Bramati (Mapei).

Commesso has problems following Oriol and Bramati , but gets back on. They have to close a 30 second gap to Mengin, Bertolini, Tafi and N. Jalabert.

There is some action in the peloton on the Cote de Ty-Marrec, with Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis), Daniele Nardello (Mapei) pushing the pace, almost closing the gap to Commesso and co. at the top of the climb.

15:18 CEST - Lap 10/140 km
Christophe Mengin, Alessandro Bertolini, Andrea Tafi and Nicolas Jalabert cross the line with 3 laps to go, holding a 35 second lead on Salvatore Commesso, Christophe Oriol and Davide Bramati. The peloton follows close behind at 48 seconds.

The peloton finally closes the gap to Commesso's group, leaving just 4 riders out in front. That is, until Walter Beneteau (Bonjour) attacks by himself, with the peloton in one long line in pursuit. Beneteau's attack is good though, and he opens up a gap.

Mengin, Bertolini, Tafi and N. Jalabert lead the race up the Cote de Ty-Marrec, with a lone Walter Beneteau (Bonjour) in pursuit. The attacks start in the peloton, a little bit further down the hill. David Moncoutie (Cofidis) goes hard, and is chased down by his teammates.

Gaps are starting to appear in the peloton, with some red jerseys (Saeco or Big Mat) letting about 20 riders go clear. However, it's not a decisive split.

The 11th lap was covered in 19'03 (44.5 km/h), pushing the overall average speed up to 40.874 km/h.

15:34 CEST - Lap 11/154 km
Mengin, Bertolini, Tafi and N. Jalabert cross the line with 3 laps to go, still leading by some 40 seconds.

During the 12th lap, Bert De Waele, Luca Paolini, Marcus Zberg, Peter Van Petegem, Ludovic Turpin, Dave Bruylandts, Patrice Halgand, Stephane Goubert and Baden Cooke set off in pursuit. They catch the four leaders during the lap, just at the top of the Cote de Ty Marrec.

Baden Cooke looks to be quite strong, although he's having mechanical problems. He gets it seen to across the start finish line.

15:55 CEST - Lap 12/168 km
At the end of 12 laps, we now have a large leading group with: Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio), Andrea Tafi and Luca Paolini (Mapei), Nicolas Jalabert (CSC), Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet), Marcus Zberg (Rabobank), Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Adecco), Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r), Dave Bruylandts (Domo), Patrice Halgand , Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), Christophe Mengin and Baden Cooke (FDJ). They have 53 seconds to the peloton.

Two riders: Christophe Rinero and Pat Jonker are in between, trying to close the gap.

Cooke gets a bike change at the beginning of lap 13, and chases back onto the leading group. Rinero and Jonker go back to the peloton.

The Cofidis team is doing a good job of closing the gap - it's 30 seconds and coming down fast, after 4 km of this lap. On the Cote de Ty Marrec, Mederic Clain and Cedric Vasseur bury themselves to try and close the gap to the break.

Baden Cooke looks around and sees them coming. He sits up, and the rest of the break gets caught.

Laurent Brochard follows Frank Bouyer on the final descent, and the pair establish a small gap to the still compact peloton with 1 lap to go.

16:14 CEST - Lap 13/182 km
After the 13 man break got caught, Laurent Brochard (Jean Delatour) and Frank Bouyer (Bonjour) have launched a counter-attack. They are caught though after a couple of km.

Laurent Jalabert attacks on the Cote de Liseaux (second last climb), but the bunch reacts immediately. He causes some gaps to appear, with Marcus Zberg, Paolo Bettini, Benoit Salmon and Baden Cooke all near the front.

Luca Paolini (Mapei) attacks with 10 km to go. He rides hard, but can't open a definitive gap, and is caught with just over 5km to go. The peloton regroups in time for the Cote de Ty Marrec. Davide Bramati leads them to the bottom of the climb.

A St Quentin ride attacks on the Ty Marrec, but is overtaken by Steven Kleynen (Domo). However, he can't sustain the pace and the peloton comes up behind him.

Then Laurent Jalabert attacks again over the top of the Ty Marrec for the last time, but everyone is watching him.

2.5 km to go and Fabrice Gougot (Phonak) accelerates, but it goes nowhere. The bunch is hurtling down the final descent towards the finish, still compact.

16:33 CEST - Lap 14/196 km
No team is able to get a lead out train going, although FDJ is doing its best to get Cooke up to the front. Tafi leads out the sprint and Cooke goes round him. But on the line, Jeremy Hunt gets it, with O'Grady crossing for second place. Cooke is visibly disappointed. He lost it in the final 10 metres.

There is a big crash at the rear of the peloton. Bertolini (Alessio) looks the worst off.


1 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) BigMat
2 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
3 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
4 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak
5 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites
6 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis
7 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
8 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
9 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali
10 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step

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