The Grand Prix de Plemelec-Morbihan is having its 10th anniversary in 2021. Originally a national level event, it was promoted to a UCI race in 2014. A young Audrey Cordon (yet to become Audrey Cordon-Ragot) won the race twice. Once for Vienne Futuroscope (now FDJ) at National level in 2012 and once for Hitec-Products at UCI 1.2 level in 2014. The GP de Plumelec-Morbihan has been a 1.1 level race ever since. Cordon beat Elisa Longo Borghini at the end of the latter race as both were over 2 minutes ahead of chasing riders. The Vienne Futuroscope team won the first 3 editions but surprisingly haven’t won since.
The 2021 race takes on an unusual spot in October at the end of the season, normally the race takes place in early June. The 2021 GP de Plumelec-Morbihan sees riders take on 7 laps of a 14.6km circuit for a total of 102 kilometres. The parcours doesn’t give too many obvious opportunities to attack, with some short rollers before a longer drag between 9-11km of the circuit. The end of that drag peaks at 8% which might give a chance to drop some riders but probably isn’t steep enough to encourage solo attacks.
2020 – Not held
2019 – Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
2018 – Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio
2017 – Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio
2016 – Rachel Neylan
Saturday 16th October 2021
I had heard there was going to be coverage but on ES Player I can only see the men’s race slot
Times are in BST
Women’s GP de Plumelec-Morbihan 2021 Profile
Women’s GP de Plumelec-Morbihan 2021 Favourites
More to be added as the startlist is released
Aude Biannic had a good Women’s Tour last week, finishing 5th Overall. She was consistent all week but only finished in the top 10 once. Sheyla Gutierrez couldn’t quite produce her first victory of the season but finished in the top 4 on 4 stages. I think we could see something similar from her here as stronger sprinters will probably pip her at the line but she can still do really well. Her last victory came in France, at La Perigord in 2020.
Lotte Kopecky has a great chance to finish her time with Liv Racing with a win here. She’s been finishing the year strongly with wins at the Ceratizit Challenge and Trophee des Grimpeuses. but However, she has also gone missing in a couple of the bigger races like the Worlds and Paris Roubaix (a puncture there). Sofia Bertizzolo is worth keeping an eye on too after sprinting to 3 top-10 placings at the Women’s Tour recently.
FDJ look strong with Marta Cavalli and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. Cavalli has the #1 so is probably going to lead the team here despite Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig winning the 2019 GP de Plumelec-Morbihan. Cavalli was part of the Worlds winning mixed-relay team, finished 4th overall at the Ceratizit Challenge and was 9th at Paris Roubaix Femmes. Uttrup Ludwig isn’t quite in the same form, although did finish 8th at the Worlds. The crash at the Simac Ladies Tour derailed some of the last part of her season.
If it comes down to a sprint then Chiara Consonni feels a good shout. She had to work for Elisa Balsamo at the Women’s Tour and an unfortunate crash didn’t help much either. She’s shown good results all year when given the chance for herself though. She took wins at the Vuelta CV Feminas and Ronde de Mouscron and finished 3rd on a Tour of Norway stage. If her Valcar team can deliver her to the right spot, she’s got a chance too.
Rachel Neylan should come into this race as a favourite. She’s been in fine form since signing with ParkHotel Valkenburg for the second half of the season. She’s not won but she’s come close with podiums at GP Fourmies, Giro dell’Emilia and Tre Valli Varesine. The climbing shouldn’t cause any issues, it’s just whether she can drop the likes of Kopecky who could outsprint her at the end.
Silvia Zanardi has had an impressive last part of the season. She was crowned U23 World Champion in Flanders, then finished 3rd at GP Fourmies and 5th at the Giro dell’Emilia. She’s beginning to have major teams take notice of her. The punchiness she displayed in Bologna at the Giro dell’Emilia could come in handy here, especially as she has a sprint too.
You can’t rule out NXTG’s Charlotte Kool from contention either. Although the parcours may turn out to be too hilly for her to be there to sprint at the finish. She’s taken a pair of victories this season, including the recent GP d’Isbergues. She’s off to Team DSM next season so this will be one of her last races for the NXTG team.
Women’s GP de Plumelec-Morbihan 2021 Outsiders
Arkea’s Lucie Jounier has a decent set of results from the 2021 season, including top 10s in flatter Flemish races during the spring. She was consistent on the tougher parcours at the Tour de l’Ardeche, finishing in and around the top 10. She can get a similar result here, so long as the climbs aren’t raced too fast.
Morgane Coston had a strong July, finishing 2nd to Joss Lowden in the Tour de Feminin and then winning the mountains jersey at Keriz Breizh Elites. By the time she finished 6th at La Perigord, she’d been signed for 2022 by Arkea Pro Cycling. She should be good on French roads and has shown she’s ready to move up a level this season.
Parkhotel Valkenburgs’ Marit Raaijmakers is another who has done well this year, especially recently. She won the U23 Watersley Womens challenge before going on to finish 6th at GP Fourmies and win the youth classification at the Trophee des Grimpeuses. Teammate Neylan will be the leader but keep an eye on Marit too.