Sunday, 17 February 2013

Cholet Payes de Loire 2013

17.03.2013 Official Site
France, One-day Road Race, 116km
Coupe de France Dames (French Women's Cup)
UCI 1.2

Cycling in the sport's heartlands - Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy - is now well under way, each nation having had at least one race to start off the new season. However, as far as many people are concerned cycling's spiritual home will always be France, and the season cannot truly be said to have begun until the French racing scene emerges from hibernation. That happens now, and the first race is the Cholet Payes de Loire.

2012 winner Audrey Cordon returns with her
Vienne Futuroscope team
The race is given added importance by being the first round of the Coupe de France Dames (the others are the Prix de la Ville du Mont Pujols in April, the GP Feminin'Ain D'Yzernore and the GP de Plumelec-Morbihan in June and the Classic Feminine Vienne Poitou-Charentes in June) and, as such, is hotly contested by French riders who have won seven of the eight editions; though it's open to foreign riders too with Scandinavians doing especially well in recent years - in 2011, Swedish Emma Johansson (participating this year as part of a Swedish national team rather than with her trade team Orica-AIS) became the first foreigner to win while Sara Mustonen (also Swedish and also on the Swedish national team this year) was third, and Emilie Moberg of Norway was third behind French first and second Audrey Cordon and Pascale Jeuland in 2012.

Click to enlarge
The Parcours

The race uses a road circuit, a format that suits women's cycling as it offers fans a chance to see the peloton go by four times - men's cycling has a sufficiently devoted following for fans to wait along the parcours for only one glimpse; women's cycling unfortunately does not at present and so organisers use this format to attract more spectators, making the race better value for money as far as the all-important sponsors are concerned.

Cholet, an attractive city of around 55,000 people, has been inhabited for a very long time, as is made evident by the numerous Neolithic menhirs and megaliths (standing stones) to be found nearby, one of which - the Menhir de la Garde, taking its name from La Garde where it originally stood - now stands in the Jardin du Mail where it can easily be visited. Like other megaliths in Brittany, Great Britain and elsewhere, nobody yet knows what it was for, with archaelogists' theories ranging from cattle-scratching posts to tribal territory markers to ceremonial objects and non-academic theories ranging from sensible to the bizarre. The city grew rich due to its weaving industry from the 16th century onwards and thus has a large number of grand monuments from that time onwards. It would experience tough times as a result of the textile industry's decline and from geographical isolation in the 1950s, causing many young people to move away in search of employment and the population remains older than average to this day; fortunately tourism and other new industries have begun to bring back wealth and Cholet is in better shape today than it has been for some time. It was declared French City of Sport in 1972 and 2007 and several roads have been named after prominent athletes, among them 1947 Tour de France winner Jean Robic and tragic local hero Jacques Champion, killed in an accident just as he began to attract the attention of professional teams.

The race begins at the Pont De Lattre De Tassigny with a 0.5km neutralised start ending at the where the route crosses the Bd. de la Victoire and becomes the Av. Anatole Manceau, a wide and straight road likely to encourage a fast start; it then continues south to a large roundabout and straight on to become the Av. de la Toussalle/D258 leading out of the city and over the A87 motorway to Les Loges. Once out of the city, the riders are immediately at the mercy of wind and rain blowing in from the Atlantic - the region experiences around 170 days of rain every year, and the wind can be harsh. If so, the peloton may split up, in which case riders may try to take advantage of the disarray by launching early attacks.

Altimetry profile - click to enlarge
At Les Loges, the D258 continues south-west through the rolling countryside towards La Tessoualle. o.5km from Les Loges, the roads begins to climb, imperceptibly at first but then more steeply once La Tessoualle is reached. Just past the first houses on the right, the riders turn right onto the Rue du Côteau where the road becomes much steeper for the first 0.5km past the little bungalows on the left. The average gradient before the crossing with the Rue Saint-Joseph, where the road becomes the Rue du Président Pompidou, is around 4% but for a very short section it rises to 14% - just enough for an attack and, perhaps, a break. The terrain continues to rise, less steeply, to a right turn opposite a sports field. This turn leads onto the D157 heading west, meaning that any side winds from the right experienced thus far now become head winds - the unsheltered road continues to climb through open countryside for 2.55km and precisely the sort of route that many cyclists hate most in wind and rain. It ends, after another right turn, at Le Puy-St-Bonnet; just before the final stretch into the village stands a little chapel, Notre-Dame du Chêne-Rond, on the right of the road, then the last few hundred metres turn steeply downhill. Any riders who dropped off the back of the peloton on the climb or in the wind have an opportunity to build up speed and reduce their disadvantage here, but the road is smooth enough to become slippery in rain - not a good place at all to lose control due to a puncture.

The race enters le Puy along the Rue Notre-Dame through a residential area; large numbers of parked cars mean that oil and fuel spillages are an extra hazard especially on the bends. Having now ridden 9.5km from the start, the riders turn right at a roundabout onto the Rue Nationale/D752 and head north for 0.44km to a tight left onto the much narrower Rue Jeanne d'Arc, passing between two little roadside shrines on the corner. The one on the left is heavily influenced by those menhirs, being made of rather pagan-looking slabs of granite with a little bit of more church-like carving stuck on top - it makes for an attractive effect, but the riders won't be looking at it because they'll need to give their full attention to readjusting positions as the peloton squeezes itself into the narrower road.

Rue Jeanne d'Arc carries the race to the western edge of Le Puy, then becomes first the Imp. du Bosquet and then the Rue des Ruisseaux as it heads downhill over the A87 motorway and on through open country to La Renardiere, where it crosses the D160 just before arriving at St-Christophe-du-Bois 14.4km from the start. Just before reaching the town itself, the route reaches an industrial area on the south-east, where the riders turn right onto the Rue du Parc. This is another hazardous spot, being a wider road into a narrower road as well as being susceptible to oil and diesel spillages from trucks and vans entering and exiting the industrial area. After 0.63km, the road ends at a left turn onto the wider Rue de la Liberation/D202, leading almost immediately to a level crossing over railway tracks prior to a right turn onto the Rue de la Promenade. This is rapidly followed by a right onto the Rue Saint Maurille, another difficult corner with a poor-quality road surface, then the road heads north into the countryside.

Cholet
The route immediately after St-Christophe climbs gently until 18km from the start, then begins to descend on the approach to La Senguiniere where, at a roundabout, the race turns left onto the Rue du Bocage and passes one small roundabout, then a large one before turning right onto the Av. de Nantes/D753 which continues for 0.66km to a tight left turn by a bar onto the Rue de la Paix. After passing round a right-hand bend, the road becomes the Rue de Paradis; then, after a fork, the Rue Louis et Alcine Brouillet which climbs north-east past a sports ground to a roundabout, maximum gradient approximately 5.7%. At the roundabout the riders continue straight ahead on a bridge over the E62 motorway to join the Rue Eiffel. They pass one roundabout, then turn right at the next to head east through countryside on the D158, turning right again onto a much narrower country road 1.6km from the last roundabout. This road leads south to a left turn onto the wide Av. des Trois Provinces which, after 25.1km from the beginning of the race, arrives back at Cholet.

At another roundabout on the western edge of Cholet, the race continues straight ahead onto the Av. de Nantes, then turns right after 0.5km for the Rue Saint-Rémy. 0.12km later they turn right again onto the Rue Saint-Eloi, a corner made technical by the down hill slope and poor road surface, followed by a left onto the Rue Saint-Roch 0.32km later - this should be less hazardous than the last corner but, being in a residential area, there's a risk of oily patches left on the road by parked cars. It leads almost immediately to a roundabout; riders continue ahead on the Rue de Saint-Melanie for 0.77km, then turn right onto the Av. Francis Bouet and arrive seconds later at a much larger roundabout known as the Place Mauriac. They go straight ahead once more, finding themselves on the Av. des Cordeliers as it leads east along the northern bank of the river to the Av. de l'Abreuvoir for a short distance before the road forks. The riders keep right, now heading south on the Av. Maudet (called the Place du 8 May 1945 on the organisers' map) to arrive 0.32km later at the start line, where the begin a new lap.

During the final three laps, there will be GPM points on offer for the first riders to the top of the Rue du Côteau climb in la Toussalle and the Rue Louis et Alcine Brouillet climb in La Senguiniere; these points will be awarded according to the standard UCI procedure with five points for the first rider, three for the second and one for the third. There will also be intermediate sprints on the Rue Nationale at Le Puy-Saint-Bonnet and on the Rue du Parc at Saint-Christophe-du-Bois; points will again be awarded according to standard procedure with five points for the winner, three points for second and one for third. Points in both categories will be added up at the end of the race to decide the Climbing and Sprint Classification winners, with General Classification position being taken into account in the event of a tie.


Start List

Subject to change


VIENNE FUTUROSCOPE
1 Karol-Ann CANUEL
2 Audrey CORDON
3 Jessica ALLEN
4 Sandrine BIDEAU
5 Pascale JEULAND
6 Manon SOUYRIS

HITEC PRODUCTS-UCK
8 Emilie MOBERG
9 Miriam BJORNSRUD
10 Elisa LONGO-BORGHINI
11 Tone Hatteland LIME
12 Chloe HOSKING
13 Thea THORSEN
14 Siri MINGE

RUSVELO
15 Elana KUCHINSKAYA
16 Aleksandra BURCHENKOVA
17 Maria MISHINA
18 Elena BOCHARNIKOVA
19 Hanka KUPFERNAGEL
20 Oksana KOZONCHUK
21 Yulia BLINDUK

LOTTO-BELISOL
22 Marijn DE VRIES
23 Jolien D'HOORE
24 Sophie-Ann DUYCK
25 Kaat HANNES
26 Marion ROUSSE
27 Kim SCHOONBAERT
28 Celine VAN SEVEREN

TIBCO-TO THE TOP
29 Chantal BLAAK
30 Rushlee BUCHANAN
31 Jasmin GLAESSER
32 Claudia HAUSSLER
33 Shelley OLDS
34 Samantha SCHEIDER

SENGERS
36 Inge ROGGEMAN
37 Vera KOEDOODER
38 Kimberly BUYL
39 Birgit LAVRIJSSEN
40 Gabriele JANKUTE
41 Geerike SCHREURS

TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BIORACER
43 Nel DE CRITS
44 Jessy DRUYTS
45 Kelly DRUYTS
46 Anisha VEKEMANS
47 Eline DE ROOVER
48 Else BELMANS
49 Gilke CROKET

BISKAIA-DURANGO
50 Lilibeth CHACON
51 DorletA ESKAMENDI 
52 Joanne HOGAN
53 Elena LIORET
54 Amaia MARTIODA
55 Mayalen NORIEGA
56 Lourdes OYARBIDE

SWEDEN
57 Emma JOHANSSON
58 Hanna HELAMB
59 Sara MUSTONEN
60 Alexandra NESSMAR
61 Madelene OLSSON
62 Isabelle SODERBERG
63 Martina THOMASSON

LOINTEK
71 Emma CRUM
72 Sheyla RUIZ GUTIERREZ
73 Julya ILINYKH
74 Alexia MUFFAT
75 Anna POTOKINA
76 Fanny RIBEROT
77 Ana BALERDI USABIAGA

French Teams

BIGMAT AUBER 93
78 Alna BURATO
79 Noeline DELBOVE
80 Roxane FOURNIER
81 Elodie HEGOBURU
82 Steffi JAMONEAU
83 Melodie LESUEUR

COMITE BRETAGNE
Not yet announced

CSM EPINAY
92 Pauline ABAUTRET
93 Audrey ARTAUD
94 Alessia BUGEIA
95 Isabel CAETANO
96 Joy DELAPORTE
97 Veronique LABONTE
98 Amelie VIVION

CSM VILLENEUVE LA GARENNE
99 Kelly GAMBIER
100 Camille ROBERT
101 Ophelie FENARD
102 Harmony LESOILLE
103 Tifany GOUPY
104 Ludivine CARRE
105 Audrey ARNOUX

CSM PUTEAUX
Not yet announced

TEAM REGION CENTRE
113 Segolene LEBERON
114 Berengere STAELENS
115 Marie TONDEREAU
116 Daniele PAROT
117 Julie BOUCHER
118 Melanie GUEDON

COMITE DE NORMANDIE
120 Marine LEMARIE
121 Eugenie DUVAL
122 Tatiana BLIN
123 Justine HAVE
124 Elise RAULLINE

COMITE PAYS DE LOIRE
Not yet announced

CHAMBERY CYCLISME COMPETITION
148 Sophie CREUX
149 Eva MOTTET
150 Celin SCHULLER
151 Marjolaine BAZIN
152 Christelle CHAPUT

Weather

More information nearer to the race



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