CANYON//SRAM Racing is preparing to race in two locations in France this weekend: UCI Mercedes Benz MTB La Bresse World Cup for Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and UCI Women’s WorldTour Grand Prix Plouay. The team for the road race on Saturday 25 August will be Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Kasia Niewiadoma, Alexis Ryan and Trixi Worrack. Completing the six-rider roster will be Hannah Barnes, who returns for her first race since breaking her collarbone at the Giro Rosa six weeks ago.
Barnes said her motivation to race in GP Plouay is as high as ever.
“I’m excited to be back racing. I am really looking forward to meeting up with the team again and getting stuck in. GP Plouay is always an exciting race with a nice course so I’m happy to be returning there,” said Barnes.
The 125km undulating course remains unchanged from the last two years, where Cecchini and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot both crossed the line in second place. Barnes predicts another strong performance from her CANYON//SRAM Racing teammates.
“We have a good team and I believe we can race well. I’m expecting an aggressive race. There is always a great atmosphere and with the course having so many different elements you have to be really attentive and smart in how you race.”
“We’ve had two podium finishes the past years so we can be confident that we can achieve that again this year. It’s my first race back after injury so it’s always a bit unknown but I have been feeling good in training and my physio has been going well so I don’t see why I can’t play a big part in our team performance,” suggested Barnes.
Further north in France, Ferrand-Prévot will put the final touches on her preparation for the MTB World Championships that are just two weeks away when she races at the Short Track and XCO World Cups in La Bresse on Friday 24 and Sunday 26 August respectively.
The current French national MTB champion finished fifth at last weekend’s Les Ménuires French Cup and said she is feeling positive ahead of the ‘hometown’ World Cup.
“I was a little tired in last weekend’s race after a heavy block of training but before that my legs had been feeling great. It’s really special to race in France, and it’s the area where my boyfriend comes from so I know that there will be some extra friends and family cheering for me.”
“I already knew the lap at La Bresse because I was here in May, but they have added some new technical sections so I was excited to see those on the course when I rode it again yesterday.”
“La Bresse is the last World Cup of the season but it’s also my last race before the World Championships so it’s a good test. We will see what the race can bring,” added Ferrand-Prévot.
The Short Track and XCO World Cups from La Bresse can be watched live from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 on Redbull TV. GP Plouay can be watched live from 15:15 CEST on Saturday 25 August on France 3, Eurosport Player, FloSports, and RTVC, and followed online on Twitter with #UCIWWT.