Elena Cecchini has sprinted to second place in yesterday's GP de Plouay Bretagne in France. The three-time Italian champion was powering home and just missed overtaking the winner Eujenia Bukaj (BTC) while third place went to Joanne Numainville (CBT).
"I have to start by saying I love this race. But you just love it if you have good legs. I was not feeling bad but I was feeling a bit strange. I think mentally I was tired and so I thought okay I have to divide the race in to some points in which I have to stay really focused," said Cecchini.
The peloton took the first half of the undulating 121km course calmly, with only short-lived solo breakaways allowed to go away. It was CANYON//SRAM Racing's Alena Amialiusik who started the action with an attack on the highway climb just before two laps to go. When Lizzie Armistead (DLT) forced the pace on the following long climb a group of 22 riders later formed with both Cecchini and Amialiusik present.
After the race Cecchini said "At that point with the numbers of the other teams we were not in a really good situation, but then Alena and I were good with keeping position and we were there when the next selection was made. We were then 15 riders but we had our team in a good position."
"Alena and I divided the attacks. We knew that Alena was feeling really good on the climbs and that she would be the best climber. And on the final climb that's what happened, Alena was in a group of six and I was then in the chase group with Marianne Vos (RLT) with 5km to go. When it came back together just before 1km to go I decided to do sprint in the wheel go Vos because normally she is the fastest. But as soon as she started I understood she took the wrong direction and I went the opposite way. I started my sprint and was able to pass three or four girls but there was still one left."
"I like this race because until the end you never know how it will finish. I'm happy because of the good team work. We now look to Holland."
The team will next race at Holland Ladies Tour in the Netherlands on Tuesday 30 August.
by Beth Duryea / email@example.com