Race Preview: Grand Prix de Plouay
Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank is in France for the 21st race on the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar: the Grand Prix de Plouay. Held in the heartland of French cycling, the race takes place in the small Breton town of Plouay, home to major bike races since 1931. The well-known course features four laps of a demanding 27km circuit that includes challenging climbs and technical descents before heading into a final 14km loop for a total of 125km.
(Pictured right: Alison Jackson on the attack, photo by Anton Vos)
The Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank riders lining up for the GP Best France — Plouay will be: Brodie Chapman (AUS), Nicolle Bruderer (GTM), Alice Cobb (GBR), Ingrid Drexel (MEX), Alison Jackson (CAN) and Shannon Malseed (AUS).
As the riders head out on the 125km race, their first challenge will be a narrowing road into the bottom of the Côte du Lézot, a one-kilometre climb averaging about 6 per cent grade. Other challenging climbs in the longer laps include a 6km climb over the Chapelle Sainte-Anne des Bois and the even steeper Côte de Ty Marrec, at 10 per cent. The final shorter loop includes both Ty Marrec and Lézot before a race into the finish.
A race of attrition, most often the GP de Plouay comes down to a whittled down bunch sprint, but with its steep ascents and technical downhills, the race has also favored breakaways.
Alison Jackson has proven her strength in recent races, as has Brodie Chapman in her ability to climb with some of the world’s best. The team will be looking to support their efforts to be contenders when it comes down to the finish line.