Road World Cup 2008
Plouay, Round 10
GP de Plouay, France, 114.6km
Arndt takes World Cup series with one round remaining, chased hard by De Goede. Luperini wins sprint for victory
the fourth (individual) World Cup race in a row, the first and second
positions on the podium were taken by a rider from Menikini Selle Italia
and Team Columbia (Team High Road, before their name change). These two
teams have grasped for glory and dominated in the World Cup since early
May in the Tour de Berne.
Plouay on Sunday, it was the turn of Fabiana Luperini (Menikini Selle
Italia) to take victory. She beat Team Columbia’s Luise Keller in a
two-up sprint for the line after a long breakaway by the pair.
Columbia came to the World Cup knowing that with a strong performance,
Judith Arndt could seal the World Cup series for 2008. That despite the
final round remaining in September. Their plan was to race aggressively
throughout the 6 lap, 114.6 kilometre race. They raced to the plan, with
riders active in breaks and chasing down attacks during the race which
lasted over 3 hours.
the morning had been miserable, with rain falling, the afternoon cleared
up and the race was run off under mainly sunny skies and on dry roads.
A relatively small number of riders, 89, from eleven professional
and four national teams started the 2008 GP de Plouay.
early break was chased back by Anke Wichmann (Team Columbia) and this
provided the springboard for a counter-attack by Wichmann’s team-mate,
Kim Anderson. The American managed to gain a gap edging over one minute
during her 26 kilometre break, but she eventually succumbed when a chase
by Edwige Pitel (Pro Team Les Carroz) towed the bunch back up.
Not long afterwards, Miho Oki (Menikini Selle Italia) went clear
with Anke Wichmann (Team Columbia). When they were reeled in less than 15
kilometres later, a split in the main bunch was created, from which
Fabiana Luperini (Menikini Selle Italia) and Luise Keller (Team Columbia)
launched their decisive attack. As the pair extended their advantage,
Swiss teams, Team Bigla and Cervelo Lifeforce worked hard to contain the
and Keller were away for three and a half laps, around 65km. There were
some attempts to bridge across to them, in final 25 kilometres, but these
were chased back by Keller’s Team Columbia team-mates. World Cup leader,
Judith Arndt and Kim Anderson were active in policing these accelerations.
As the final twenty kilometres were raced, the time gap closed steadily.
They approached the finish line just over half a minute ahead of the
final 250 metres of the ‘Jean-Yves Perron’ circuit rises steadily and
it was Fabiana Luperini who had the front as the pair approached the final
two hundred metres. Keller gave her best, but just did not seem to have
the legs to challenge the Italian. They sprinted until the line, but with
25m remaining, it was clear that Luperini would win.
Italian road race Champion was not sure until she crossed the line that
she would win “I haven’t raced for a month, my last race was
Sweden [World Cup, round 8 – Open de Suede], so I didn’t
know if I could win today. But in the final lap, I did feel strong and I
tried to win. I am very happy.” Luperini said after the race.
Keller was understandably disappointed not to have won. She came to Plouay
refreshed a week after her overall victory in the Route de France, her
first ever stage race win. “Of course I wanted to win”,
she reflected, [the win in Route de France] “It gave me confidence
today. I tried to win, but it was not enough.”
bunch sprint 31 seconds later was contested by several riders. The focus,
though, was the duel between Judith Arndt and Suzanne De Goede (Équipe Nürnberger).
Laying second, 87 points down before the start, De Goede needed to beat
Arndt by a placing which would provide her with 13 more points to keep the
2008 World Cup competition open. It was a long, hard sprint and De Goede
won, but her 35 points for third compared to Arndt’s for fourth were not
Arndt goes into the final round of the World Cup with 82 point s more than
De Goede, her nearest rival. With a maximum of 75 points for the win, she
has sealed victory one round early. The German, who before Berne had not
worn the World Cup leader’s jersey, has worn it since and will be
entered into the record books as the 2008 World Cup winner. There will be
a double celebration for Team Columbia in Nürnberg, the team has already
notched up an unassailable total in the Team Competition too.
from resting on their laurels, Team Columbia will be racing hard in the
final round. “We will take the jersey to Nürnberg, it will be
nice not to have to race for it, but we are always looking for the win”,
commented Judith Arndt after the podium ceremony.
final World Cup race in the 2008 series is the “Rund um die Nürnberger
Aldstadt” , in Germany on Sunday 14 September 2008
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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