Rabobank-Liv’s Anna van der Breggen attacked on the final lap of the Champs-Elysées circuit to win the second edition of La Course by Le Tour de France in a rainswept Paris this afternoon.
12 months ago, the inaugural edition of the race was won by the 25-year-old’s compatriot and team mate, Marianne Vos, absent this time round through injury.
Today, van der Breggen attacked early on during the last 7 kilometre lap of the 89 kilometre race, and managed to build a lead of nearly a quarter of a minute over a main field that had been much reduced by conditions that were more evocative of a spring Classic than the last day of the Tour de France.
Coming out of the tunnel beneath the Louvre with around a kilometre and a half to go, her advantage had been slashed to just 6 seconds and it seemed her bid for glory was doomed to failure.
However, a crash behind her as the chasing bunch turned onto the Rue to Rivoli by the gilded statue of Joan of Arc took out contenders including her team mate and reigning world champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot.
As she came across the Place de la Concorde and onto the home straight, van der Breggen had managed to tease out a couple more seconds’ advantage.
That slender extra advantage would prove crucial as she crossed the line, arms aloft, just 1 second ahead of her pursuers, led home by Wiggle-Honda’s Jolien d’Hoore, with Amy Pieters of Liv-Plantur third and British champion Lizzie Armitstead of Boels-Dolman fourth.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.