Thomas Voeckler of the Bouygues Telecom team gave French cycling a lift at the GP Plouay one-day ProTour race on Sunday, winning with a perfectly timed late move.
The pocket rocket Frenchman and former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer jumped away alone three kilometres from the finish of the event and held off the chasing sprinters to win the biggest race of his career.
Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) took second, a few seconds behind, while Italy?s Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) was third and so scored some vital points in defence of his ProTour leader?s jersey. His team mate and compatriot Filippo Pozzato was fourth.
In the women?s race held on Saturday, Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce) finished second behind Italy?s Noemi Cantele (Bigla) but scored 50 precious World Cup points and so extended her overall lead in the series standings.
Cooke now has a total of 337 points and leads rival Marianne Vos of Holland by 80 points but because double points (150) are awarded in the last race of the competition, the Rund um die Nürnberger in Germany on September 16, the talented Welsh rider faces a battle all the way to the end of the season-long competition.
Cantele won alone with a late attack after being part of the decisive four-rider attack that also included Cooke, Italy?s Marta Bastainelli and Australia?s Oenone Wood.