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From Britain to Brittany - a report from the GP Plouay Ceratizit

Team Manager Ian Mansel Thomas sent us this report from France where Carys Lloyd was victorious in the prestigious GP Plouay a trip supported by the Rayner Foundation Gateway Scheme.

"It's rare that junior riders get to rub shoulders with Women's World Tour riders, but the event for the Four Days of Plouay gives that opportunity.

The junior women's race is on the same day as the WWT race, so it was exciting to see a parking lot filled with massive shiny team buses, alongside our more humble means of transport! And great for our riders to see the pros at close quarters, before and after the race.

Making the long trip to Britanny were team riders Mari Porton, Holly Ramsey, Lowri Richards and Carys Lloyd, alongside guest riders Georgia Lancaster and Millie Thomson. A race recon on Saturday afternoon set everyone up for Sunday's race, titled the GP Ceratizit, which would be over 79.9km, taking in laps of a lumpy 6.3km course.

The warm weather continued into Sunday, so the team manager was dispatched to the local supermarket for supplies of ice to keep everyone cool.

Once the race was underway, a break went fairly early - too early some would have thought, but as that break contained Carys and several other favourites, there was hope that it could stay away.

Behind, Mari was suffering the lingering effects of illness, while Millie was battling the pace of her first UCI race. At the front of the main bunch though, Holly, Lowri and Georgia were doing a fantastic job of controlling the pace and nullifying counter attacks and attempts to bring the break back. Holly, having looked strong all race, again suffered some misfortune as another rider took out half a dozen spokes in her front wheel. With the team car up the road with the break, sadly that was race over for Holly.

The time gap to the four riders in front was growing, and with a few laps to go, it was clear this was going to be the battle for the win. With Carys' breakaway companions not having had big results in fast finish races this year, we knew she just had to conserve energy for the final. Advice was given from the car, using some British cycling colloquialisms which, we hoped, wouldn't be easily understood by the other riders!

It all seemed to work, as Carys launched her sprint perfectly, with no one able to come round her. She raised her arms for her first UCI win, so well-deserved after working selflessly for others through the season. Absolutely great to see!

Our remaining two riders in the race came home in the peloton, with Georgia picking up an excellent 15th at her first UCI race.

Teamwork ! photo Direct Velo

All in all, a great weekend and thanks go again to the Rayner Foundation for making the trip possible. The support from the Foundation this year has been amazing and has absolutely kept our riders on the road at the top races. Thank you."

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