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Chloe Hosking takes another European victory in the Classique Morbihan

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking took her second victory of the month as she was the fastest of a four-woman breakaway on the uphill finish of the first ever Classique Morbihan in Plumelec, Brittany, in western France. The 24-year-old Australian beat French sprinter Pascale Jeuland (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope) to the line at the end of the 100km race, as Eider Merino (Lointek) beat Margaux Cadol (Team Ladies Breizh) in the race for fourth.

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot won the sprint for fifth place at the head of the next group.

Meanwhile, in the southern Netherlands’ province of Limburg, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini finished fifth in the Boels Rentals Hills Classic, after Olympic Champion Dani King had been part of the day’s seven-rider breakaway and set up her teammate for the latter kilometres of the race.

“It’s nice to win because it wasn’t from a sprint,” Hosking said after her victory in Plumelec. “It’s nice to win a race that’s a bit different, a bit climby, from a break of what was really three riders. I hate it when you get lumped into the category of ‘just’ being a sprinter, so it’s nice to win in a different way!

“Jeuland opened up quite early and, especially after having done 800 metres of climbing before the sprint, I knew I couldn’t go early,” Hosking added. “She sort of got the jump, so I sat on her wheel, and came out with about 150 metres to go, and I got a two-second time gap.”

With newly re-crowned Champion of Brittany Audrey Cordon-Ragot in the peloton, along with Japanese Champion Mayuko Hagiwara, Hosking was confident that Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling would prevail, despite the pressure put upon the black and orange riders by the other teams in the race.

“Of course we’ve got Audrey there, so I think everybody was watching us,” Hosking explained. “I ended up in a break, about 20km in, and we stayed away for maybe 25km but then it all came back together. Then a girl [Cadol] went away solo, but we weren’t really that worried. Then Futuroscope did some attacks, and all the girls did a really great job of controlling it, and following, and then I randomly followed an attack from a Futuroscope girl [Jeuland] and that was it; it got away. Then a Lointek girl [Merino] bridged across and we rode the last 12km together.

“I was pretty confident that Audrey and Mayuko would come across, so I wanted to save myself to help them at the finish, because it finished up a 1km climb. For me that’s not perfect, but I managed to save a bit of energy and was able to sprint at the end.

“It was a good day for the team; I was really happy with the way everybody rode!” Hosking added.

In the Boels Rental Hills Classic, Longo Borghini managed to put herself into the winning move of five riders, and took fifth place behind Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) and Sabrina Stultiens (Liv-Plantur) at the end of the hilly, 131km race.

“I didn’t expect it to be honest,” said Longo Borghini, who has only recently returned from an altitude camp, high in the Italian Alps. “I was suffering quite a lot, with my breathing and things like that, but I managed to stay with the first group at the finish. I started my sprint with 300 metres because I saw the second peloton coming back, and I thought that if I wait they would catch me and I’d be maybe tenth. So I risked everything and I was fifth, and I’m satisfied.”

King’s breakaway group, which contained representatives of most of the big teams, escaped close to halfway through the race, and managed to build a lead of almost three minutes. A chase group of 13 riders joined up with the leaders just before they crossed the finish line to start the 18km final circuit, before the decisive five-rider group got clear.

“Dani was really, really strong today,” Longo Borghini added. “She slipped into a breakaway around kilometre 50 and she stayed away until the last lap. She was working really well in the breakaway – maybe doing too much – but she was really, really strong. Anna Sanchis was also really strong, as was Giorgia [Bronzini]. As a team we performed really well.”

Result Classique Morbihan
1. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Pascale Jeuland (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope)
3. Eider Merino (Lointek)
5. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

Result Boels Rental Hills Classic
1. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
2. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS
3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv)
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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