Anna van der Breggen has finished second in La Course by le Tour de France on Tuesday. In a nail-biter of a final, Van der Breggen held off Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) until 100 metres before the finish line. The 2018 Giro Rosa winner threw her bike across the line just ahead of the Olympic champion.
The 2018 edition of La Course was held in the Alps, containing four climbs. The start was at the Annecy lake at 9.00 am CET. With the Col de Bluffy not far from the start, there was no shortage of attacks in the early parts of the stage.
Four riders managed to get a gap: Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb), Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar), Lotta Lepistë (Cervélo-Bigla) and Leah Thomas (United Healthcare) found each other in their attempt to get off the front. There were counterattacks aplenty, but no-one was able to get to four leaders.
The quartet worked well together, until one by one they were caught on the Col de la Romme, the third climb of the day. A new leader emerged as Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) attacked.
As the top of the Romme came into sight, there was some action at the front of the peloton with Guarnier testing her post-Giro Rosa legs and those of her competitors. The group stayed together as it crossed the top, but Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) managed to get a small gap on the descent.
Uttrup Ludwig built her lead to almost a minute as she reached the foot of the Col de la Colombière. The ‘peloton’ was no longer a peloton, but had now become ‘the group of favourites’ as only twelve riders were left – Guarnier and Van der Breggen among them.
Not for long though, as Van der Breggen made her move on the 20k to go mark. Only Van Vleuten and Moolman-Pasio were able to follow. They caught both Brand and Uttrup Ludwig on the way to the top and Van der Breggen went solo just before reaching the top of the Colombière.
The Olympic champion charged down the descent on her own, followed by Van Vleuten on a handful of seconds and Moolman-Pasio in third position. Van der Breggen was able to keep Van Vleuten at a gap until the last 400 meters, at which point Van Vleuten came closer to overtake Van der Breggen at 100 meters from the finish line.
Van Vleuten took her second La Course victory in a row, while Moolman-Pasio completed the podium in third. Van der Breggen remains the leader in the UCI Women’s WorldTour classification.