La Course 2018: Van Vleuten outguns Van der Breggen in thrilling finale

La Course is a 112.5 kilometres race through the Alps and it comes down to the ultimate metres. In a race with four intermediate climbs Anna van der Breggen attacks in the last kilometre of the Col de la Colombière. Annemiek van Vleuten travels a few seconds after her over the top. She keeps chasing on descent to pip her compatriot in the dying metres of the race. Ashleigh Moolman finishes in third. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 2018 La Course

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (nld)
2. Anna van der Breggen (nld) + 0.01
3. Ashleigh Moolman (rsa) + 1.22
4. Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (den) + 1.58
5. Megan Guarnier (usa) + 2.19
6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (pol) s.t.
7. Katrine Halle (usa) + 2.22
8. Amanda Spratt (usa) s.t.
9. Eider Merino (spa) + 2.24
10. Erica Magnaldi (ita) s.t.

Race report
Carolina Rodriguez opens up a small gap at Col de Bluffy, but she is caught before the crest. Ruth Winder leads the peloton over the top.

On Côte de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt – 5.5 kms and 5.5% – Leah Kirchmann, Anna Christian, Małgorzata Jasińska and Leah Thomas attack. They crest the top with the peloton half a minute in arrears, while Lotta Lepistö tracks them down on descent. Christian can’t follow the pace and is dropped.

The four tackle the Col de la Romme almost 2 minutes ahead of the main group. Thomas leaves the others behind and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig bridges across to push on alone. She drops down 1 minute ahead of the peloton. Lucinda Brand goes after the Danish rider on descent.

On the Col de la Colombière, with 19 kms to go, Anna van der Breggen accelerates with Ashleigh Moolman and Annemiek van Vleuten on her wheel. They gobble up Brand before they catch Uttrup Ludwig with 1.2 kms left to climb. Van der Breggen pushes on to drop Moolman and then Van Vleuten.

The gaps are still small on the top. After the descent Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten are 100 metres apart, while Moolman is out of contention. On the false flat to the line Van Vleuten musters all her strengths for the final ordeal and dramatically snatches victory in the final few metres.

Read also: route 2018 La Course.

La Course 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Annemiek van Vleuten

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