Grace Brown, riding for FDJ Suez, successfully retained her purple jersey as the leader of the Bretagne Ladies Tour Ceratizit on the concluding day of the event. The Australian marked her second general classification victory of the 2023 season after her triumph in the Tour Down Under back in January.
Her competitors did not make her victory an easy one. Initially, a breakaway occurred, involving riders not too threatening to the general classification: Maaike Coljé (Arkea), Haylee Fuller (Bridgelane), Ane Iversen (Coop Hitec), Olha Kulynych (Duolar Chevalmeire), and Katarzyna Wilkos (MAT Atom Deweloper Wrocław). Also Emily Watts (Bridgelane) and Kathrin Schweinberger (Ceratizit WNT) made their own attempts to disrupt the equilibrium.
Once the breakaway was neutralised and the final circuit began- comprising five laps – the challengers nearest in the general classification made their moves. Coralie Demay (St Michel Auber93), Alessia Vigilia (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) and Dominika Wlodarczyk (MAT ATOM) each attempted to pull ahead separately. However, Brown, the Australian, thwarted all these endeavours, even leading the peloton herself. Within the final 4 kilometres, Victorie Berteau (Cofidis) made a move, coming close to surprising the others and maybe getting the chance to cross the finish line solo.
Once she was caught up, Cofidis made their strategy apparent. Again, with Valentine Fortin, they dominated the mass sprint, outpacing Arianna Fidanza (Ceratizit WNT), with their team member Alzini securing the third position. Grace Brown crossed the line in fourth place, thereby cementing her position in the general classification. She was joined on the podium by Demay and Vigilia, with Audrey Cordon Ragot (Human Powered Health) finishing in fourth place.
2023 Bretagne Ladies Tour Stage 5 result
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