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  Grand Prix de Dottignies Preview  
  Grand Prix de Dottignies is the third round of the season long Lotto Cycling Cup. Held the day after Ronde van Vlaanderen, one of the biggest races on the women's calendar sees the majority of the top teams sitting out the race. The race suits the sprinters and with several of the top sprinters in the world down the start it is likely to be a strong battle for the win. The position in the calendar also gives an opportunity for a number of younger riders to post a confidence boosting result. Two former winners Giorgia Bronzini (2014 and 2007) and Vera Koedooder (2013) will start.

2014 Results

1 Giorgia BRONZINI
2 Shelley OLDS +0
3 Lucy GARNER +0
4 Elena CECCHINI +0
5 Roxane FOURNIER +0
6 Aude BIANNIC +0
7 Maaike POLSPOEL +0
8 Nina KESSLER +0
9 Mia RADOTIC +0
10 Annalisa CUCINOTTA +0

Past Winners

2014 Giorgia Bronzini
2013 Vera Koedooder
2012 Monia Baccaille
2011 Emma Johansson
2010 Kirsten Wild
2009 Sarah Düster
2008 Marianne Vos
2007 Giorgia Bronzini
2006 Oenone Wood
2005 Nicole Cooke
2004 Olga Slyusareva
2003 Baukje Boedee
2002 Alessandra Cappelotto

The Route

Profile opening lap

The 119.38km race starts with an opening 51.53km circuit. The first 20km are flat with the first GPM, the Beerbosberg coming after 22.08. The next two climbs come in quick succession Topberg at 24.99km and Rundvleesberg at 27.22km. Expect to see some attacks here but with 90km still remaining it is unlikely anyone will get away. There is flat section of around eight kilometres before the final GPM of the opening circuit the Haut Du Ronceval. Three kilometres later riders enter the finishing circuit the first crossing the finish line coming after 51.53km.

Profile finishing circuit

Profile final 3km

From here the peloton completes five laps of a 13.57km finishing circuit. At the start of the lap the road briefly climbs and there are several other small rises but the lap is mostly flat. The final 250m are slightly uphill.

The Contenders

Start list available here

Wiggle Honda

Defending Champion Bronzini is one of the top sprinters in the women's peloton. Won a stage of the Bay Crits and Santos Women's Tour in Australia back in January. Often starts the European slowly, building to bigger goals. Wiggle brings a strong team support her in the sprint. Despite being the defending champion Bronzini might not be the teams best hope at victory.

Jolien D'hoore regained the overall World Cup lead after finishing a strong second behind teammate Elisa Longo Borghini at Ronde van Vlaanderen yesterday. On the form of her life and is sprinting with the best at the moment.

Add in Chloe Hosking and Wiggle have a formidable sprint train for whoever they decide to sprint for.

Amy Cure and Elena Cecchini

Cure won an eighth medal over the past three years at the Track World Championship and added a second senior World title to her collection in the team pursuit. Cure had a standout 2013 with the National team but raced little last year due to track commitments. With no Commonwealth Games this year Cure can focus more on the road. Has a very strong sprint especially when the finish is slightly uphill like this.

In Elena Cecchini the team has a second strong sprinter, who just missed the podium last year finishing fourth and comes in to the race with fifth at Ronde van Vlaanderen yesterday. Started her season with second on the opening stage of Tour Femenino de San Luis. Since returning to Europe has finished sixth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and 10th at both Le Samyn des Dames and Strade Bianche. 14th at Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe and 9th Trofeo Alfredo Binda in a sign of consistency in harder races. The former track rider has a strong finish but is better from a select group after a hard race. If Cure and Cecchini work together either one is a challenger for the win.


Bigla lack a pure sprinter with Shelley Olds still out injured. They bring a strong team but one that will need to be aggressive and split the race if they want to beat the sprinters. Annemiek Van Vleuten just missed the podium yesterday at Ronde van Vlaanderen finishing fourth in the select chasing group. Has a strong finish but can't match the pure sprinters so expect to see her on the attack.

Ashleigh Moolman was Bigla's second rider in the first chase group yesterday helping Van Vleuten to fourth. A strong rider but the course really needs to be more undulating for her. The slight uphill finish also suits her but probably not enough to give her the advantage over the sprinters.

Matrix Fitness and Laura Trott

A young team full of young riders but the team has been posting some promising results. Christina Siggaard finished 17th at Omloop van het Hageland and it is only a matter of time before the team cracks the top 10.

Laura Trott returns to the road after her track season that culminated in two silver medals at the Track World Championships in February. Trott is the British Champion, out sprinting Lizzie Armitstead to claim the title last year. Still relatively inexperienced on the road in Europe but there is no doubting Trott's talent and if she has found some road form could be challenging for the top 10.

Annalisa Cucinotta

Cucinotta surprised everyone to take the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar ahead of a number of big names. A strong sprinter who can surprise with some big results but is not always in contention. If she has the form she did in Qatar could well surprise again. It might not be remembered but Cucinotta actually finished in the top 10 last year.

Roxane Fournier

Fourth on the final stage at the Tour of Qatar in February after finishing 2014 strongly with a stage win at Trophée d'Or Féminin. Not a pure sprinter or a name you might immediately look to in a big bunch sprint. Finished fifth last year and could well improve on that in 2015. The uphill finish is an advantage for her.

Sofie De Vuyst

Not a pure sprinter but always performs well in Belgium. Was the overall winner of the Lotto Cycling Cup last year due to consistent performances across the events. Unlikely to challenge the pure sprinters for the win but a top 10 is possible.

Other names to watch: Pascale Jeuland, Aude Biannic, Marijn De Vries, Sheyla Gutierrez, Marta Tagliaferro and Georgia Williams.
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