Bretagne Ladies Tour 2024 Race Preview

Bretagne-Ladies-Tour-Final-podium-2023

Bretagne Ladies Tour 2024 History

A very long-running race, the Bretagne Ladies Tour can trace its origins back to 1987 when Cecile Odin won. Since then, it’s always kept a low level but has just started to move up in the last couple of years after a patchy record since 2016. It only held one edition between 2017 and 2021, partly down to Covid but also just general troubles. It’s no longer a 2.2 race either but has reached 2.1 level in 2022. It’s still able to keep a host of local teams in attendance, even with the clash with the Women’s WorldTour RideLondon Classique this year.

FDJ-Suez has done well in recent years with Grace Brown winning in 2023 and Vittoria Guazzini who took the win last season. A strong time trial can set a rider up to manage the remaining stages and secure the GC win. Reduced to 3 stages in 2024 due to local events for the Olympic torch relay, the TT will be even more important this year with fewer bonus seconds available for stage wins.

Previous Winners

2023
Grace Brown
2022
Vittoria Guazzini
2021
Not held

Bretagne Ladies Tour 2024 Stage Profiles

Stage 1 (TT)

Stage 2

Stage 3

TV Coverage

Wednesday 22nd May – Friday 24th May 2024

Live on Facebook
(maybe only Stages 2 + 3)

Stage 1: 12:30pm-3:15pm
Stage 2: 11:30am-3:20pm
Stage 3: 11:30am-3:15pm

All times in BST

Twitter: #BretagneLadiesTour

Startlist: FirstCycling

Bretagne Ladies Tour 2024 Contenders

FDJ-Suez come to this race stacked and their line-up contains all of the top 3 from last year’s race. Coralie Demay and Alessia Vigilia were racing for different teams in 2023 but it just goes to show how much firepower the WWT team has. On top of that, they also have Amber Kraak and Marie le Net who will be able to cover everything. Kraak can attack and close down moves, with Le Net going for those sprint finishes as the fastest sprinter on the team in Brittany. The GC should be one for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes winner Grace Brown to retain again frankly. She is by far the fastest rider in the race against the clock and should put the GC out of reach by the end of day one. From there, it’s a case of managing the gaps and making sure rivals don’t manage to sneak something to topple the Aussie.

Marthe Truyen is going well at the moment with a series of consistent top-10 finishes that show she’s knocking on the door of another win soon. She’s just finished 5th at GP Mazda Schelkens and 3rd at Veenendaal-Veenendaal this weekend. She’s often not the fastest sprinter but does enough to finish highly. A GC stint feels unlikely because of the TT but she will be one to watch on Stages 2 and 3. Teammate Julie de Wilde probably has the faster sprint but there’s no guarantee she will actually race here. She had a big crash at the end of the Antwerp Port Epic whilst sprinting for places just outside the top-10 that day. She may have recovered but she was a DNS on Monday at GP Mazda Schelkens. Sanne Cant sprinted to 4th in Antwerp, taking her best road result of the season so far. We should see her linking up well with Truyen. The team’s best GC threat might be Marion Norbert Riberolle who was 3rd in the TT at Gracia Orlova. She will be plenty behind Brown but there aren’t too many other time triallists in the peloton here. From there she can race consistently to hold onto the time gains.

Thalita de Jong is an all-round threat who has been inside the top-10 across nearly all races except for the absolute biggest ones like the Vuelta or Tour of Flanders where she was ‘only’ in the top 20 instead. She’s having a great season and whilst probably won’t threaten Brown too much in the GC battle has enough of a TT to challenge for the podium, especially with the ability to pick up bonus seconds and maybe that elusive win. Katrijn de Clercq is also going well but usually in the flatter sprints. Brittany rarely gives up terrain like that but she is still of note after 6th at Ronde de Mouscron, 7th at GP Mazda Schelkens and 9th at Scheldeprijs.

Michaela Drummond 2023 Farto-BTC crop
Michaela Drummond

Arkea-B&B Hotels should be in stage hunting mode and in Michaela Drummond they’ve got a rider who is ideally suited for it. The Kiwi already has a win this season at the Pays de la Loire Tour back at the start of April and was competitive at La Classique Morbihan finishing 15th. We’ve seen her sprint well on tough rolling courses, including the stage win she took at Ardeche last year and she will be in the mix for sure. Emilia Fahlin will be there to support as well, with her best result this season being 7th at Ronde de Mouscron. Amandine Fouquenet is also useful on these sorts of courses with 10th at La Classique Morbihan this year. We’ve not seen a strong result in a little while from Anais Morichon but it’s worth noting she was 5th in GC here back in 2022.

I can see Victoire Berteau being the closest rival to Grace Brown here. Largely similar riders, Brown has the edge but Berteau is developing still and looks more than ready to make the step up to the Women’s WorldTour next year (with Lidl-Trek supposedly interested). A strong season that doesn’t have a win yet but a hot of top-10 finishes across stage races and one-day races. She was 2nd at GP de Plumelec-Morbihan behind Silvia Persico but will look at 8th at Paris Roubaix Femmes and 5th at Ronde van Drenthe as her best results of the season. I also quite like the chances of Hannah Ludwig making the top-10 here. We saw her win Navarra Elite Classics recently with a well-timed solo attack and her time trial is solid enough against the opposition in this year’s Bretagne Ladies Tour. We might see Sarah Roy sprinting after her 10th on the opening stage of Vuelta a Burgos last week. That will depend on if she’s suitably recovered from being involved in the major crash at the end of Stage 3. Valentine Fortin was sprinting superbly at the end of 2023 but we’ve not seen anything like that from her since February at the UAE Tour Women. Maybe it comes good again here. As a wildcard option, Lise Ménage is the freshly crowned French U23 road race champion and was also 3rd in the U23 TT. 

Eline Jansen
Eline Jansen

Eline Jansen is on the cusp of a really strong result after finishing 10th on Stage 7 of the Vuelta Femenina, building on other good top-10s this year with one at the highest level. There’s been the odd poorly timed mechanical too which doesn’t show itself in the results sheets and the Bretagne Ladies Tour might be an ideal place for her to get that really high result. Teammate Anneke Dijkstra will also be a good attacking option no doubt after going on various breaks this season. She can also get results like her 5th place at Le Samyn des Dames. I’m expecting VolkerWessels to do better on stages rather than the GC battle.

The WCC Team has quite a few good options in this race. With Jasmin Liechti going well at GP de Plumelec-Morbihan to finish 11th there. She was also 15th in the sprint at GP della Liberazione PINK and 6th in the prologue at Torofeo Ponente in Rosa. Those all-round results are encouraging given the parcours here in the Bretagne Ladies Tour this year. The Swiss rider has a chance to sneak into the top-10 of the GC and come to the attention of bigger teams. Afghan rider Fariba Hashimi had a really strong Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa, taking 4th and 5th on the climbing stages and putting herself into the top-10 on GC after a slow start. She will take some confidence from that and maybe challenge again here. Finally, there’s the Slovenian rider Nika Bobnar who was 5th and 8th in sprints at the Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa and 13th at GP della Liberazione PINK. She ideally favours a flatter course, so might find it tough here. Still, she’s one to keep an eye on.

Bretagne Ladies Tour 2024 Outsiders

Lucy Gadd
Lucy Gadd

Brits Lucy Gadd and Jo Tindley of Pro-Noctis-200° Coffee-Hargreaves Contracting might put themselves in the hunt. Gadd was 2nd in the U23 British Nats TT last year after finishing 3rd the year before and in a thin time triallist field, that might be enough to get a good result. This year she’s only raced domestically so far but took a stage win at The Peaks 2 Day and finished 2nd over there. Jo Tindley has been around forever and whilst it’s been a while since she took a good UCI result, she continues to be strong domestically. 7th in the mud at the Cicle Classic was backed up with 7th overall at The Peaks 2 Day as well. We’ll see if she can put herself about in the sprints.

Eliska Kvasnickova is a rider who really shone in last year’s Tour de Feminin, finishing 2nd on the opening TT there and then 3rd overall after a strong final stage. She was snapped up by Team Komugi-Grand Est and has found it a little bit harder going at the start of this season. The one bright spot is the 6th place on the opening stage of the Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa. If she can TT well, that should help her get a solid result.

Cynisca’s Fiona Mangan will be looking to regain the form which saw her finish 8th at Clasica de Almeria earlier this season. The Irish rider is a good all-rounder who can climb and that should put her in good stead for the rolling terrain of Bretagne. The TT is potentially an issue that will prevent her from a really strong GC position though. Also worth keeping an eye on is the young Canadian rider Mara Roldan who might try and get up there in the sprints.

Top 3 Prediction

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