Former Dutch Champion Lucinda Brand leads a Rabo-Liv one-two-three in Brittany; Lizzie Armitstead wins series overall

Lucinda Brand (Raabo-Liv) became the ninth winner in the ninth Women’s Road World Cup race this year, by winning the Grand Prix de Plouay – Bretagne on Saturday. The 25-year-old Dutch woman escaped with about seven kilometres to ride and stayed clear to win by nearly a minute, leading home a Rabo-Liv one-two-three.

The Dutch woman was clearly pleased with her performance after a number of second places this season, especially the national championship, where she was caught on the line. “I knew I had a lot of time, but I hadn’t made sure [of the win] a few times this year, so I really wanted keep going to the line,” she told cycling Weekly.

The first half of the 121.5km race, run on the same course as tomorrow’s men’s WorldTour race, was uneventful, though the hilly terrain soon took its toll whittling down the peloton. Eventually a group of 21 elite riders, including the entire Rabo-Liv team, formed and the selection was made.

On the last of four 26.9km circuits, Brand escaped with Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-Lululemon) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), but all three were caught before the race began the final circuit of 13.9km. With the leading group now numbering only 10 riders, a series of attacks meant Brand was dropped on one of the short, steep climbs, which punctuated the entire course.

On the ensuing descent, however, Brand got back on, going straight on the attack. “It was the only chance for me to try and win,” she told us. With three team mates in the group behind her, there was no cohesion to bring her back and the chase stalled. “We really did it as a team. I heard the girls shouting on the radio, saying I could do it, and the team director told me the chase had fallen down. I’m really happy I could finish it off.”

Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead, who secured the overall World Cup title in Sweden last week, was happy with her eighth place finish.

Iris Slappendel (Rabo-Liv) won the sprints competition, Alena Amialiusik (Astana Be Pink) the Mountains jersey, with Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico-Faren) securing the Youth classification.

UCI Women’s Road World Cup – Round 9
GP de Plouay – Bretagne Result

1. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) 3:08:06
2. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) + 56
3. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) st
4. Rossella Rato (Estado de Mexico Faren) st
5. Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) st
6. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) st
7. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Hitec Products) st
8. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) st
9. Alena Amialiusik (Astana-BePink) st
10. Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-Lululemon) st

Women’s Road World Cup Over All Standing – PROVISIONAL
1. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) 515 points

2. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) 390
3. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) 370
4. Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) 346
5. Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano) 290
6. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) 285
7. Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) 269
8. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Hitec-Products) 245
9. Chantal Blaak (Specialized Lululemon) 225
10. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) 225