Bretagne Ladies Tour – Five day stage race, 09-13 May 2023
Tour de Bretagne is a five-day UCI 2.1 stage race which takes place across the region of Brittany in the northwest of France.
Stages one, two, four and five follow a similar format – a long race across a part of Brittany, ending in a town circuit which is ridden five times. Each of these stages:
(1) were between 120 and 137 kilometres long
(2) had a finishing circuit of between 5 and 8 kilometres
(3) featured two GPM competitions
(4) featured two intermediate sprint competitions
Stage three was an individual time trial of 19.4 kilometres.
|Tuesday 9 May
|Wednesday 10 May
|Plémet – St Méen-Le-Grand
|Thursday 11 May
|Plouay- Plouay: ITT
|Friday 12 May
|Mûr de Bretagne – Kervignac
|Saturday 13 May
|Plougharnel – St Jn Brévelay
This is the first multi-day stage race for the team in Europe in 2023. Five days of consecutive racing is a substantial challenge for any team. The race featured several women’s world tour teams as well as UCI women’s continental teams and regional French teams.
Race objectives evolved through the course of the race but, in general, followed the following theme. As a smaller team, the team focused on being reactive and aiming to follow the attacks (rather than initiating them). As a process goal for all, it was important to be in a good position towards the front of the bunch at all times. Pauline and Greta patrolled the front of the bunch each day, and supported Chloé and Émilie to move up. For Émilie, the intermediate climbs were also a focus point each day and Greta was responsible for supporting Émilie to position for these.
The first two days of the race were typically Breton – high winds, rain, and clouds. The atmosphere in the peloton was tense as riders had to contend with the weather. In both day one and two, the decisive splits in the bunch happened as a result of a large crash. For the team, the main effort was to position well, ride as a team, and secure GPM points. Émilie was attributed GPM points in the first GPM of day one, which put her 8th in GC.
Day three’s time trial brought better weather, although the course was still damp in places. This meant that riders had to take caution in the rolling and winding terrain of the course.
Day four and five brought a different atmosphere to the race. Results from the ITT on day three plus better weather (less wind!) meant more riders were attempting attacks than in previous days. Cynisca riders were better positioned and riding towards the front but didn’t make it into the moves of these days.
When the race finally finished in Saint Jean Brévelay, riders were content. They had worked hard and developed through the course of the race. They came away with improved positioning, tighter knit team communication and riding, and general confidence for the next races.
Team Results in GC: Emilie: 32nd; Greta: 48th; Pauline: 54th; Chloe: 88th
93 riders finished out of 112 starting on day one.