Today Eugenia Bujak of Slovenian women's team BTC City Ljubljana won the Women's World Tour race, Grand Prix Plouay.
TWC covered the team's rise to WWT status earlier this year. The women on the squad managed to convince the men's coach that women were worthy of a 'pro team' - as initially he "didn't think women should be road cycling at all."
Polona Batagelj told us at the time: “The development of women’s cycling in Slovenia was so fast, I couldn’t believe it that in 2014 we could have a professional team. Maybe the first year they didn’t see us as a serious team, but now we are, really."
It took a lot of hard work - but they did it, and today they showed that it's all paying off with the prestigious WWT win.
Bujak, the team's 27-year-old Polish rider, started cycling aged 21, initially on the track. She took the win from a bunch sprint made up of 15 riders, at the end of the 121.5km road race, beating Canyon//SRAM's Elena Cecchini into second, with Joelle Numainville of Cervelo Bigla in third.
After multiple attacks and attempted breaks , 15 riders cleared the main peloton as they entered the final 14km lap. Eventually, Liv Plantur's Leah Kirchmann made a break for it on the Côte du Lezot, building up a decent advantage of 20 seconds. She was caught eventually, though on the steep incline of the Côte de Ty Marrec.
At that point, six more riders made another attempt - they were Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle High5), Alena Amialiusik (Canyon//SRAM), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv), Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS), Guarnier (and Joëlle Numainville (Cervélo-Bigla).
However, they weren't able to escape the chasers. By the final kilometer the 15 leaders were back together and the result came down to a sprint - and a win that no one expected.
BTC City Ljubljana have had an excellent season, gradually getting stronger and more prominent in the peloton. We look forward to seeing their results next year also!
The French race is the penultimate round of the UCI Women's World Tour. Megan Guarnier still holds the jersey, and mathematically it's now impossible to topple her.