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The Bretagne Classic, also called Bretagne Classic Ouest–France, is an elite cycling classic held annually in late summer around the Breton village of Plouay in western France.

Bretagne Classic
DateLate August
RegionBrittany, France
English nameBrittany Classic West France
Local name(s)Bretagne Classic Ouest-France (in French)
DisciplineRoad
CompetitionUCI World Tour
TypeOne-day race
OrganiserComité des Fêtes de Plouay
Web sitewww.bretagne-classique-ouest-france.bzh/bretagne-classic-ouest-france-plouay/ Edit this at Wikidata
First edition1931 (1931)
Editions83 (as of 2019)
First winner François Favé (FRA)
Most wins10 riders with 2 wins
Most recent Sep Vanmarcke (BEL)

The race was originally named Grand–Prix de Plouay and, from 1989 to 2015, GP Ouest–France. It was included in the inaugural UCI ProTour in 2005 and in 2011 in its successor, the UCI World Tour. Since 2016 it is called Bretagne Classic Ouest–France.[1]

Since 2002, a women's event, the GP Plouay–Bretagne is organized on Saturday, the day before the men's race. Supporting events have grown over the years and now include BMX races, track racing and a mass-participation ride, as part of a four–day festival in the last summer weekend in Brittany.

HistoryEdit

 
Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle (pictured at the 1993 Paris–Nice) is the last French rider to have won the race twice

The Bretagne Classic, originally named Circuit de Plouay and later the Grand-Prix de Plouay,[1] was created in 1931 by former Tour de France doctor Berty, who used his influence to attract some of the biggest names of French cycling to the inaugural edition.[2] Breton rider François Favé won the inaugural edition. In its first decades the race was dominated by French riders. The first non-French winner was Italian Ugo Anzile in 1954, the second was Holland's Frits Pirard in 1979. Nine riders have won the race two times, all of them French. The last to do so was Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle, winning in 1981 and 1987.

Throughout its history, the roll of honour includes some illustrious winners. Séan Kelly was the first English-speaking rider to win in 1984. Belgian Frank Vandenbroucke became the youngest winner in 1996, at the age of 21.[3] Italian Vincenzo Nibali, on his way to cycling legend, took a surprise victory in 2006, at the age of 22.[4] Australians Simon Gerrans and Matthew Goss won in 2009 and 2010 respectively, with Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen soloing to victory in 2012 and Italy's Filippo Pozzato helping resurrect his career with a surprise win in 2013.[5][6]

In 2014 the attackers managed to hold off the chasing peloton, with Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel winning the seven-man sprint.[7] Alexander Kristoff was only two seconds behind, winning the sprint for eighth place.[8] In 2015 it was Kristoff's turn for victory, leading out a bunch sprint of 69 riders.[9]

RouteEdit

The race starts and finishes in the small village of Plouay, in the heartland of French cycling. The course consists of eight laps of a demanding 27 km circuit and one 14-km lap in the backdrop of Brittany. The circuit is known for its high rate of attrition, featuring climbs and technical descents. The total distance covered is 247 km (153.5 mi).[1]

The first climb is addressed almost immediately after the start as the race goes over the Côte du Lézot, a one-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 6%. Next is a gentle six kilometre ascent up to the Chapelle Sainte-Anne des Bois, marking the halfway point of the circuit. After a flat section, the race addresses the Côte de Ty-Marrec, with a maximum gradient of 10%.

The race ends with a final lap of 14 km, with the last climb of the Côte de Ty-Marrec providing opportunities to launch attacks or distance sprinters. Sometimes a small group of riders manages to stay away, but often they are caught by the sprinters and their teams in sight of the finish line.[2]

WinnersEdit

Year Country Rider Team
1931   France François Favé
1932   France Philippe Bono
1933   France Philippe Bono
1934   France Lucien Tulot
1935   France Jean Le Dily
1936   France Pierre Cogan
1937   France Jean-Marie Goasmat
1938   France Pierre Cloarec
1945   France Eloi Tassin
1946   France Ange Le Strat
1947   France Raymond Louviot
1948   France Eloi Tassin
1949   France Armand Audaire
1950   France Armand Audaire
1951   France Emile Guerinel
1952   France Emile Guerinel
1953   France Serge Blusson
1954   Italy Ugo Anzile
1955   France Jean Petitjean
1956   France Valentin Huot
1957   France Isaac Vitre
1958   France Jean Gainche
1959   France Emmanuel Crenn
1960   France Hubert Ferrer
1961   France Fernand Picot
1962   France Jean Gainche
1963   France Fernand Picot
1964   France Jean Bourles
1965   France François Goasduff
1966   France Claude Mazeaud
1967   France François Hamon
1968   France Jean Jourden
1969   France Jean Jourden
1970   France Jean Marcarini
1971   France Jean-Pierre Danguillaume
1972   France Robert Bouloux
1973   France Jean-Claude Largeau
1974   France Raymond Martin
1975   France Cyrille Guimard
1976   France Jacques Bossis
1977   France Jacques Bossis
1978   France Pierre-Raymond Villemiane
1979   Netherlands Frits Pirard
1980   France Patrick Friou
1981   France Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle
1982   France François Castaing
1983   France Pierre Bazzo
1984   Ireland Sean Kelly Skil–Reydel–Sem–Mavic
1985   France Eric Guyot Skil–Sem–Kas–Miko
1986   France Martial Gayant Système U
1987   France Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle Vétements Z–Peugeot
1988   France Luc Leblanc Toshiba-Look
1989   France Jean-Claude Colotti R.M.O.
1990   France Bruno Cornillet Z–Tomasso
1991   France Armand de Las Cuevas Banesto
1992   France Ronan Pensec R.M.O.
1993   France Thierry Claveyrolat GAN
1994   Moldova Andreï Tchmil Lotto
1995    Switzerland Rolf Järmann MG Maglificio
1996   Belgium Frank Vandenbroucke Mapei–GB
1997   Italy Andrea Ferrigato Roslotto–ZG Mobili
1998   France Pascal Hervé Festina–Lotus
1999   France Christophe Mengin Française des Jeux
2000   Italy Michele Bartoli Mapei–Quick-Step
2001   Belgium Nico Mattan Cofidis
2002   Great Britain Jeremy Hunt BigMat-Auber 93
2003   France Andy Flickinger AG2R Prévoyance
2004   France Didier Rous Brioches La Boulangère
2005   United States George Hincapie Discovery Channel
2006   Italy Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas
2007   France Thomas Voeckler Bouygues Télécom
2008   France Pierrick Fédrigo Bouygues Télécom
2009   Australia Simon Gerrans Cervélo TestTeam
2010   Australia Matthew Goss Team HTC–Columbia
2011   Slovenia Grega Bole Lampre–ISD
2012   Norway Edvald Boasson Hagen Team Sky
2013   Italy Filippo Pozzato Lampre–Merida
2014   France Sylvain Chavanel IAM Cycling
2015   Norway Alexander Kristoff Team Katusha
2016   Belgium Oliver Naesen IAM Cycling
2017   Italy Elia Viviani Team Sky
2018   Belgium Oliver Naesen AG2R La Mondiale
2019   Belgium Sep Vanmarcke EF Education First

Multiple winnersEdit

Wins Rider Editions
2   Philippe Bono (FRA) 1932 + 1933
  Eloi Tassin (FRA) 1945 + 1948
  Armand Audaire (FRA) 1949 + 1950
  Émile Guérinel (FRA) 1951 + 1952
  Jean Gainche (FRA) 1958 + 1962
  Fernand Picot (FRA) 1961 + 1963
  Jean Jourden (FRA) 1968 + 1969
  Jacques Bossis (FRA) 1976 + 1977
  Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle (FRA) 1981 + 1987
  Oliver Naesen (BEL) 2016 + 2018

Wins per countryEdit

Wins Country
62   France
6   Italy
5   Belgium
2   Australia
  Norway
1   Ireland
  Moldova
  Netherlands
   Switzerland
  Slovenia
  United Kingdom
  United States

Grand Prix de Plouay for Women EliteEdit

Since 2002, a women's event, the GP de Plouay, is organized the day before the men's race and on the same circuit. The women's race features six 19 km laps, totalling 114 km, and is part of the UCI Women's Road World Cup.[10][11] Italian Noemi Cantele, Holland's Marianne Vos and British pair Emma Pooley and Lizzie Deignan hold the record with two wins.

TriviaEdit

  • No rider has won the race more than two times so far.
  • The GP Ouest-France is one of only a few international sporting events organized entirely by volunteers: 600-700 members of the Comité des Fêtes de Plouay manage the proceedings of the organization.[12]
  • Plouay has organized the 2000 Road World Championships, using the circuit of the GP Ouest-France.[13] Latvian Romāns Vainšteins won the elite men's road race, beating Zbigniew Spruch and Óscar Freire in a bunch sprint.[14] Belorussian Zinaida Stahurskaia won the women's road race in a solo victory.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Bretagne classic ouest-france". www.bretagne-classique-ouest-france.bzh (in French). Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b "GP Ouest France – Plouay". uci.ch. UCI. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  3. ^ "GP Ouest-France (GP de Plouay), France, Cat 1.1". autobus.cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  4. ^ "La plus belle de Nibali". europort.fr. Eurosport. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  5. ^ "GP Ouest-France 2012". teamsky.com. Team Sky. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  6. ^ Ryan, Barry. "Pozzato outlines Worlds credentials with GP Ouest-France win. September 02, 2013". cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  7. ^ "48th GP Ouest France - Plouay (1.UWT)". procyclingstats.com. ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Chavanel wins GP Ouest France-Plouay. August 31, 2014". cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  9. ^ Quénet, Jean-François. "Kristoff wins GP Ouest France Plouay. Katusha sprinter on fine form ahead of Worlds". cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  10. ^ Johnson, Greg. "Columbia-HTC has options for women's GP Plouay assault. August 21, 2009". cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Grand Prix de Plouay – Bretagne: who will be crowned UCI Women Road World Cup winner? 27 August 2015". uci.ch. UCI staff. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  12. ^ Courroux, John. "Le GP de Plouay en cinq chiffres (in French)". velochrono.fr. Vélo Chrono. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  13. ^ Jones, Jeff. "Preview". autobus.cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  14. ^ "2000 World Road Cycling Championships 67th. Edition: October 15, 2000. Plouay, France". bikeraceinfo.com. Bikeraceinfo. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  15. ^ Knapp, Gerard. "Elite Women's Road Race. Saturday, October 14, 2000". autobus.cyclingnews.com. CyclingNews. Retrieved 27 November 2015.

External linksEdit