Elvin sprints to fourth place in a dramatic La Classique MorbihanFri 31 May 2019
Australian Gracie Elvin narrowly missed out on a podium spot as she took fourth place in an eventful La Classique Morbihan.
Mitchelton-SCOTT animated the race from the midway point, splitting the field apart over one the off-road sectors before Elvin attacked off the front in the closing kilometres.
In the end the race came down to a reduced bunch sprint on a punishing uphill drag to the line, with Elvin just losing out on a trip to the podium.
There were chaotic scenes inside the opening hour of racing as two crashes caused the race to be neutralized for almost 45-minutes in order for the emergency services to make their way to the injured riders.
With the stoppage over, two riders then jumped away as the race restarted, and the duo held an advantage of 2’30” over the peloton with 50-kilometres left to race.
As the race came back together Mitchelton-SCOTT moved to the head of the bunch and split the race apart over one of the numerous off-road sectors spread throughout 121-kilometre course.
The split saw just 30 riders left at the head of the race and Mitchelton-SCOTT kept the pace high to make sure that the chasers were not getting back into contention. As the lead group hit 20-kilometres to go, Elvin launched an attack over one of the graveled roads and drew three riders with her.
The four riders managed to stay away until they crossed the finish line with one lap remaining and as they came back, a lone counter move soon went up the road. Australian Sarah Roy and domestique Moniek Tenniglo were then called into action as they looked to haul the solo attack back before the finish and set it up for a sprint.
The escapee was reeled back in with just half a lap to go as the race was ripped to shreds on the tough finishing circuit. As the line came into sight, the battle for victory was down to six riders with Elvin just getting pipped at the line for the final podium spot as Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) came out on top in the uphill drag.
"Coming into the closing 20-kilometres we wanted to be aggressive and make some attacks. Everyone played their part in riding on the front and I was able to put in a big attack with three more riders joining me. We got caught coming into one lap to go but it was already a race of attrition by then."
"I wasn’t so sure about the uphill finish for me, it’s not really my strong point, but I was actually feeling really good today, so I just tried to pick some good wheels. Unfortunately I was just passed right on the line for third, which is always a bit disappointing."
"But overall, I’m really happy with the day, everyone was really focussed and stuck to the plan. It was really a team ride and personally I’m really happy because I went a lot better than I expected."
La Classique Morbihan Results:
1. Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) 3:15:19
2. Sofie de Vuyst (Parkhotel Valkenburg) ST
4. Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.