Mitchelton-SCOTT present throughout an attacking GP de Plouay

Sat 31 Aug 2019

Australian Amanda Spratt was Mitchelton-SCOTT’s top finisher as the team went down fighting in an aggressive edition of the GP de Plouay.

The triple Tour Down Under champion was present throughout the back half of the race as she followed attack after attack, eventually finishing in the chase group alongside teammate Lucy Kennedy.

Cagey Start

It was a fast start to proceedings as the peloton rolled out of Plouay and onto the new look course for 2019. Several attempts to form a break came and went as the bunch made their way around the 16.7-kilometre loop for the first of six laps.

The bunch was still all together as they raced onto fourth lap, but the pace had been ramped up and several riders were distanced on the drag to the line. It wasn’t long before the attacks began to roll with a small group edging clear of the pack on the climb at the start of the lap.

Spratt was alert to the move and followed the wheels as a strong group of 11-riders opened up a gap of more than 30-seconds on the peloton. The move was eventually shut down as the pack passed through the finish line to complete another lap, but a counter attack was soon launched, with Spratt again involved.

Attacking Finish

However, the peloton were quick to close the gap and the race was back together once again with 35-kilometres remaining. Kennedy then moved to the head of the pack and began to increase the tempo before the latest attack was launched, with the recent San Sebastian winner and Spratt both reacting to the move.

The attack was short lived as the bunch raced around the first of two laps of the finishing circuit, and as the pace stalled Kennedy upped the tempo again before following a flurry of attacks up the Ty Marec. The Cote de Moulin proved to be the favoured attacking spot and that was where Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) made her move.

Spratt attempted to follow the World Champion but found herself in a three-rider chase group 10-seconds back of the lone leader. The bunch soon swept up Spratt and her chasing companions, but their chances of catching Van der Breggen were over as she stayed clear of the pack to take a solo victory, while Spratt and Kennedy crossed the line amongst the chasing pack.

Amanda Spratt:
“From about halfway through the race a lot of teams really started to up the pace especially on the climbs. A few times I ended up in breakaway groups- these were caused by Bigla riding hard in the climb rather than an attack, so I was just sitting in the wheels and followed and ended up in the group. I didn’t overly commit to the moves because I was always outnumbered and knew that I also had to try and save energy for the final climbs. It was good when we had Lucy and Georgia back there too.”

“Going into the final lap I probably wasted a bit too much energy to get myself back to the front for the climb because my position wasn’t great. Just after Van der Breggen attacked I couldn’t follow and also when Paladin and Amialiusik went past I had to let them go but I came good again at the top of the climb and got back to them.”

“I fully committed to this move because it was so close to the finish and I felt this is my best chance to get a result for the team. It’s just a shame that we didn’t have a rider from Trek or Sunweb with us as they chased really hard from behind and caught us at the bottom of the climb with four-kilometres to go.”

“I’m happy with my ride. It’s my first race in a long time so I felt like I got my racing rhythm and focus back quickly. I’m missing a bit of that race intensity and punch, but I think that will come back quickly especially with Holland coming up. It was also great to be back with the team racing. All the girls contributed a lot and did a lot of work out there, just fun to be racing with all of them again and it always motivates you more.”

Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas (Sports Director):
"I think it was a good day, we executed our plan and that’s all we can ask of the riders. We would have liked a podium place of course, but it didn’t work out that way today."

"The race was very controlled and when Van der Breggen attacked Spratt tried to follow her and was chasing with two others. That was a good move and worked well for our podium ambitions, but the other teams worked behind and brought them back, so that was our chance gone really."

GP de Plouay - Lorient Agglomération Trophée Results:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 3:21:54
2. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) +0:11
13. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.