Garfoot sprints to 8th in the penultimate WorldTour race, GP-Plouay Bretagne

Sat 27 Aug 2016

Australian time trial champion Katrin Garfoot had a strong ride today in GP-Plouay Bretagne to finish in eighth place from the reduced bunch sprint.

The 34-year-old surprised herself and the team by riding strongly despite not being 100% leading into the race. Battling over the climbs Garfoot put herself in to a move of six leading riders with just two kilometres to go.

The group was brought back inside the final kilometre and teammate Amanda Spratt worked hard to lead out Garfoot for the sprint which was eventually won by Eugenia Bujak (BTC-City).

Sport director Gene Bates praised Spratt and Garfoot’s efforts today, taking confidence from their performances going into the next races.

“Today was really good for us,” explained Bates. “Katrin was going a lot better than we expected as she wasn’t 100% leading into this race.”

“Both her and Amanda rode super. We knew Amanda was in good nick but we didn’t expect Katrin would be there in the front leading group with just two kilometres to go."

As the sprint unfolded Garfoot began the dash for the line with riders spread all across the wide road, unfortunately in the closing metres she collided with another ride and was lucky not to crash but ultimately lost a lot of her speed.

“Katrin locked handle bars with another rider in the sprint and that sent her backwards,” continued Bates. “We can still walk away really pleased with the girl's rides today, both Spratt and Garfoot gave it a good crack in the final, putting themselves in positions to go for the win." 

“It’s a classic race of attrition and we knew that before the start so it was a matter or conserving the legs until the final. When the move came back Spratt did the best job she could to lead out Garfoot and so it was a really positive day for the team."

"The result in the end probably didn’t represent how good they were riding today, but Katrin can take a lot of confidence from her ride.”

How it happened: 

The penultimate women’s WorldTour race was set to be a hard one with all the big name riders on the start line. The peloton headed off to tackle four laps of a undulating 26.9kilometre circuit followed by one finishing lap of 13.9kilometres.

Early on in the race a big crash occurred and young ORICA-AIS rider Jenelle Crooks came down and took a lot of time to get back on her bike and ultimately could not rejoin the main peloton.

Despite being down on numbers after the crash, the team worked well together conserving energy and looking after Spratt and Garfoot ahead of the final.

The main action of the day came on the final larger lap with the peloton reducing down to just 25 riders after a fast pace was set on one of the more challenging climbs.

Different riders from the front split tried their chances, attacking one after the other however the moves were all reeled back in by the attentive teams.

On the final lap Leah Kirchman (Liv-Plantur) launched away solo on the hunt for victory and led the race for most of the final lap before being swallowed up by the strongest chasers.

Five riders including Garfoot bridged across and led the race coming into the final two kilometres but with no real cohesion in the group, the leaders were caught by another small group as they headed closer to the finish line.

In the end the race concluded in a reduce bunch sprint with Bujak claiming the victory in a close sprint with Garfoot finishing in a respectable eighth place. 

ORICA-AIS are straight back in action on Tuesday at the six-day Boels Rental Ladies Tour.

 GP-Plouay Bretagne results:

1. Eugenia Bujak (BTC-City) 3:12:31
2. Elena Cecchini (Canyon-Sram) ST
3. Joelle Numainville (Cervelo-Bigla) ST
8. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-AIS) ST