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GP Ouest France-Plouay - CDM & ProT
France, August 26-27, 2006
Race 1 - August 26: Women's World Cup GP de Plouay, 113km
Brändli motors away
First world cup crown for Nicole Brändli
By Jean-François Quénet in Plouay with additional reporting by Kristy Scrymgeour
Taking advantage of a slightly new course built for climbers, Nicole Brändli (Bigla Cycling Team) attacked mid race today, opening up an impressive lead over the chasing peloton. She motored away and managed to hold the gap until the finish to take out the tenth round of the UCI Women's World Cup Series solo. Brändli has had a successful year to date, just missing out on her third Giro d'Italia Femminile victory in July, when Edita Pucinskaite won the last stage to take the overall, but this is her first World Cup win.
In the past, GP de Plouay has been won by both sprinters and climbers, but with a three kilometer climb added to the loop this year, the outcome was bound to lean towards the climbers. Although attacks did start early in the race, nothing got away until about 52km to go when Brändli attacked with German National Champion Claudia Häusler (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung). The pair opened up a quick gap but Brändli proved too strong for Häusler and rode away solo with Häusler being caught by the chasing group.
Brändli was solo from 36km to go. "It was a long way," she admitted afterwards, "But I'm not a sprinter, so I had to attack from far. Actually, we just used the same tactic as last year for my team-mate Noemi Cantele who won here as well. I'm delighted because this is my first world cup win, although I had won a few other races before. I also have the world championship in mind now, I'm doing my best for getting on form for that, but I know some luck is needed as well."
Attacks continued and shortly after Kim Anderson (T-Mobile) and Sarah Düster (Univega) got away. For 15km they worked well together but the pace behind was too much and they were reeled in. Univega then put the team on the front in an attempt to bring back Brändli and get their leader up for another possible win. On the last climb, series leader Nicole Cooke (Univega) attacked, was countered by Susanne Ljunskog (Buitenpoort Flexpoint) and attacked again. It was not to be however. Brändli crossed the line 45 seconds ahead of a chase group of about 25 riders to take the win.
Giorgia Bronzini (A.S. Team F.R.W) took the bunch sprint from series leader Nicole Cooke, with Cooke's third place moving her further ahead on the leaders board. Second place in the series Judith Arndt (T-Mobile) suffered a puncture with just over 1km to go in the race, the culprit a huge pin embedded all the way through the tyre.
Bronzini also set her mind onto the Worlds in Salzburg, on September 23. "But I don't have my qualification secured yet, that's why I was looking for such a result. Finishing second behind an excellent athlete like Brändli is fantastic for me." That's why she put her arms up in the air when she won the sprint of a chasing group of 23 riders ahead of Cooke. "Don't worry, I knew Brändli was away, but I wanted to show my emotion. I'm so happy."
Cooke was another smiling cyclist after the race. "Our team has won three World Cup races already this year, she said. We're having a great season. Today, we preferred to ride safe and secure some points. It's a good day for my World Cup campaign." She has almost won the overall classification with two heats to go.
Brändli's win moves her up in to the top ten in the series; however the next two races are not really made for her. Next up, after the Ladies Holland Tour, is the penultimate round of the series in Rotterdam and a week later, the finale with double points will take place in Nürnberg, Germany.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
Images by Jean-Francois Quenet
Images by Thomas Campana
1 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 3.17.11 2 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) A.S. Team F.R.W 0.32 3 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Univega Pro Cycling Team 4 Mette Fischer Andersen (Den) Bianchi Aliverti Kookai 5 Trine Hansen (Den) Bianchi Aliverti Kookai 6 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team 7 Annette Beutler (Swi) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team 8 Dorte Lohse Rasmussen (Den) Bianchi Aliverti Kookai 9 Ener Iturriaga Echevarria Mazag (Spa) Italian National Team 10 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas 11 Theresa Senff (Ger) AA-Drink Cycling Team 12 Monia Baccaille (Ita) Saccarelli Emu Marsciano 13 Susan Palmer-Komar (Can) Canadian National Team 14 Elisabeth Chevanne Brunel (Fra) Les Pruneaux d'Agen 15 Paulina Brzezna (Pol) Polish National Team 16 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Univega Pro Cycling Team 17 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) LTU 18 Lise Christensen (Den) Bianchi Aliverti Kookai 19 Claudia Häusler (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 20 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Canadian National Team 21 Maribel Moreno Allue (Spa) Spanish National Team 22 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 23 Andrea Graus (Aut) Bigla Cycling Team 24 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Italian National Team 25 Edwige Pitel (Fra) French National Team 1.00 26 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 27 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 28 Grete Treier (Est) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 29 Magali Mocquery (Fra) Team Pro Feminin du Genevois 30 Nikki Egyed (Aus) Vienne Futuroscope 31 Emma Johansson (Swe) Bizkaia - Panda Software - Durango 32 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas 33 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs-Colnago 34 Anriette Schoeman (RSA) South African National Team 35 Marina Jaunatre (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 36 Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Italian National Team 37 Magali Le Floch (Fra) T-Mobile Professional Cycling 38 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) A.S. Team F.R.W 39 Béatrice Thomas (Fra) Team Pro Feminin du Genevois 40 Monika Krawczyk (Pol) Polish National Team 41 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Univega Pro Cycling Team 42 Tina Liebig (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 43 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling ?44 Vera Carrara (Ita) Italian National Team 45 Veronica Andreasson (Swe) Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan 1.14 46 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) French National Team 1.33 47 Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan 1.51 48 Marissa Van Der Merwe (RSA) South African National Team 49 Corine Hierckens (Bel) AA-Drink Cycling Team 50 Iosune Murillo Elkano (Spa) Bizkaia - Panda Software - Durango 51 Sophie Creux (Fra) Team Pro Feminin du Genevois 52 Naiara Telletxea Lopez (Spa) Bizkaia - Panda Software - Durango 53 Ana Garcia Antequera (Spa) Spanish National Team 54 Sandra Rombouts (Ned) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team 55 Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Polish National Team 56 Sarah Düster (Ger) Univega Pro Cycling Team 57 Emma Rickards (Aus) Univega Pro Cycling Team 58 Laura Bozzolo (Ita) Italian National Team 59 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) Les Pruneaux d'Agen 60 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Univega Pro Cycling Team 61 Kimberly Anderson (USA) T-Mobile Professional Cycling 62 Oenone Wood (Aus) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 63 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 64 Suzanne Van Veen (Ned) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team 3.43 65 Jeannie Longo Ciprelli (Fra) French National Team 7.50 66 Olivia Gollan (Aus) Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas 67 Karin Aune (Swe) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 8.49 68 Erinne Joanna Willock (Can) Canadian National Team 8.51 69 Nathalie Bates (Aus) AA-Drink Cycling Team Outside time limit (hors delai) HD Elodie Touffet (Fra) HD Adrie Visser (Ned) HD Patricia Schwager (Swi) HD Isabella Wieser (Aut) HD Xiong Yin Ruan (Chn) HD Yong Li Liu (Chn) HD Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel) HD Siobhan Dervan (Irl) HD Alessandra D'ettorre (Ita) HD Sabrina Emmasi (Swi) HD Kimberly Baldwin (USA) HD Amy Moore (Can) HD Katia Longhin (Ita) HD Karine Gautard (Fra) HD Nathalie Jeuland (Fra) HD Fanny Riberot (Fra) HD Alexandra Rannou (Fra) HD Chrissie Viljoen (RSA) HD Anke Erlank (RSA) HD Sharon Van Dromme (Bel) HD Sofie Goor (Bel) HD Catherine Delfosse (Bel) HD Loes Sels (Bel) HD Anne Samplonius (Can) DNF Lidia Arcangeli (Ita) DNF Zoulfia Zabirova (Kaz) DNF Marta Vilajosana Andreu (Spa) DNF Miho Oki (Jpn) DNF Marllijn Binnendijk (Ned) DNF Sandra Missbach (Ger) DNF Volha Hayeva (Blr) DNF Elena Raffaelli (Ita) DNF Maitane Telletxea Lopez (Spa) DNF Arantzazu Azpiroz (Spa) DNF Agurtzane Elorriaga (Spa) DNF Tanja Hennes (Ger) DNF Katharina Blum (Ger) DNF Helen Kelly (Aus) DNF Jenny Macpherson (Aus) DNF Katherine Bates (Aus) DNF Regina Schleicher (Ger) DNF Irina Zemlyanskaya (Rus) DNF Natalia Boyarskaya (Rus) DNF Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) DNF Johanna Buick (NZl) DNF Na Zhao (Chn) DNF Min Gao (Chn) DNF Yan Xia Jiang (Chn) DNF Kim Schoonbaert (Bel) DNF Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) DNF Rosane Kirch (Bra) DNF Janildes Fernandes Silva (Bra) DNF Francesca Tognali (Ita) DNF Anna Farina (Ita) DNF Silvia Mancini (Ita) DNF Alessia Quarta (Ita) DNF Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) DNF Silvia Parietti (Ita) DNF Luisa Tamanini (Ita) DNF Martina Corazza (Ita) DNF Nina Ovcharenko (Ukr) DNF Ombretta Ugolini (Ita) DNF Tatyana Palchynska (Ukr) DNF Judith Arndt (Ger) DNF Ina Teutenberg (Ger) DNF Tania Belvederesi (Ita) DNF Leticia Gil Parra (Spa) DNF Sonia Bazire (Fra) DNF Mélanie Bravard (Fra) DNF Aude Pollet (Fra) DNF Eugenie Mermillod (Fra) DNF Sylvie Riedle (Fra) DNF Céline Nivet (Fra) DNF Sylvie Fragniere (Fra) DNF Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) DNF Federica Ballestri (Ita) DNF Alice Marmorini (Ita) DNF Magalie Finot Laivier (Fra) DNF Laurence Leboucher (Fra) DNF Hélène Marcouyre (Fra) DNF Anna Henestora Roca (Spa) DNF Anna Sanchis Chafer (Spa) DNF Rosario Rodriguez Gomez (Spa) DNF Maria Diez Ulzurrun Alvarez (Spa) DNF Lynette Jansen Van Vuuren (RSA) DNF Yolandi Du Toit (RSA) DNF Karen Steurs (Bel) DNF Evy Van Damme (Bel) DNF Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) DNF Urte Juodvalkyte (Ltu) DNF Edita Unguryte (Ltu) DNF Magdalena Zamolska (Pol) DNF Karolina Konieczna (Pol) DNF Monika Grzebinoga (Pol) DNF Leigh Hobson (Can) DNF Gina Grain (Can) DNS Liane Balher (Ger) DNS Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) World Cup standings Nicole Cooke (GBr) Univega Pro Cycling Team