Today Lauren finished second in the UCI race La Picto Charentaise in Poitiers, France. The race is quite important for her team FDJ-Nouvelle Aquataine Futuroscope, as it takes place in the backyard of the main sponsors and the home of the team. Lauren is also based in this area while she is in Europe. So it’s a bit like a home race for her and the team.
The course was essentially flat with a short power climb near to the finish, the race consisted of 8 laps of 15km. Without any major climbs to make the difference, Lauren and her young french team, including 4 girls younger than 21, decided to ride hard as team mid race in a short section of the course with cross wind. This forced a selection and the team were represented with 5 girls in a group of 9, a very good situation for the team to play a tactical final. With the goal to win the race alone, Lauren and her teammates began attacking this breakaway in the final 20km of the race. Unfortunately Lauren ended up in a small group of 3 riders with a very strong Gladys Vurhulst from Charente-Maritime Cycling team and Brazilian climber Flavia Olivera. The final breakaway arrived at the finish just before the bunch, where Lauren took 2nd in the sprint.
“To be honest I’m a bit disappointed, the team rode such a great race today, we really made the race and set it up well, I just couldn’t finish it off and that’s disappointing, however less then a week ago I had to pull out of the Ladies Tour of Norway after not recovering so well from my crash in Sweden 10 days ago, so I’m really happy to see the form has returned and I can be confident for the final part of the season now leading into the World Championships”
“While it isn’t the biggest race on the calendar it is nice for me to be back on a UCI podium, its been a solid season but without a big result, so this just gives me confidence that we are working in the right direction for the Worlds.”
Lauren’s team also picked up the win in the teams classification to top of a nearly perfect day.
“While it wasn’t the win we were after, I think we can be proud of this 2nd place, we did a great race as a team and if we keep racing like this then big results will keep coming!”