GP de Plouay next up for Mitchelton-SCOTT’s womenWed 28 Aug 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT’s women’s squad return to one-day action as they head to the north of France to take on the 18th edition of the GP de Plouay.
Triple Tour Down under champion Amanda Spratt is back in the fold for the first time since the Clasica de San Sebastian and she will be joined by the winner in Donostia, Lucy Kennedy.
Kiwi Georgia Williams will line-up up in Brittany looking to continue her strong run of recent form, while Australian Gracie Elvin will add experience to the squad as she takes on the Plouay course for the fourth time. The team will be aided by the ever-reliable Jess Allen and Alex Manly, who both come into the race off the back of the Tour of Norway.
Jess Allen (AUS, 26)
Gracie Elvin (AUS, 30)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS, 31)
Alex Manly (AUS, 23)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, 31)
Georgia Williams (NZL, 26)
The 2019 route has been altered slightly from previous additions of the race, but crucially still features the Cote de Ty Marrec. The climb will be tackled eight times in total, but the final ascent tops out inside the final 10-kilometres and could decide the winner.
The race will be held over six ‘long’ laps as the peloton head out of Plouay and tackle the Le Lezot and the Cote de Ty Marrec on each loop. The bunch will then move onto a ‘short’ lap before racing towards the finish to complete the 128-kilometre course.
The team are yet to taste victory at the race but have stepped onto the podium on a number of occasions, the first of which came in our debut year in 2012 with former rider Tiffany Cromwell taking second place. Emma Johansson then repeated that result the following year and again in 2015.
Sarah Roy took the bunch sprint for third place in 2017, while Spratt battled her way to fifth last season from a select group of favourites.
“This will be my first race back after San Sebastián and I’m really looking forward to being back with the team. I’ve just finished a really good training block in Livigno, firstly with the Australian National Team riders and staff and then a couple of weeks by myself after that.”
“My big focus now for the rest of the season are the World Championships in September, so this training block really put me in that frame of mind and made me excited and motivated for what’s coming up. I left Livigno itching to race again and to be with the team so that’s always a good sign.”
“I like the course in Plouay. The route has changed a bit this year, but the main elements remain the same. The hardest climb that finishes with three-kilometres to go is still there and this usually defines how the race will end up, either a small group sprint or just a handful of riders. It’s the kind of course that has a lot of good opportunities to attack and make the race hard so I think an aggressive style can be good on this course. This should suit our team well and the girls showed in Norway that they are racing well together.”
“It’s always hard to say how I will be after a block of only training, but I know that I am ready to suffer a lot, see where I am at, and take an opportunity if I see it.”
Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas (Sports Director):
“Plouay is usually a very open race and quite unpredictable, so I think that could suit our style of racing quite well. We have Lucy, Spratt and Georgia as good cards to play. Georgia is starting to get into form after missing a lot of the early season and we know what Lucy and Spratt can do on a hard circuit like this."
“There are two climbs on the circuit, both are about one-kilometre long, the first one easier than the second one, which is the one that leads to the finish. Everybody knows the course, but it can finish in many different ways, so we will so how the race plays out.”
18th GP de Plouay - Lorient Agglomération Trophée Race Details:
Saturday, 31st August: Plouay – Plouay, 128km
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.