Van Vleuten returns to racing at Ladies Tour of Norway

Spratt joins team with a focus on GC

Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) will return to the peloton for the first time since winning Giro Rosa and La Course at the upcoming Women's WorldTour races at Ladies Tour of Norway's standalone Team Time Trial (August 16) and three-day stage race (August 17-19).

After a successful July campaign that saw her win three stages and the overall title at the Giro Rosa, followed by victory at La Course, Van Vleuten took a break from racing and spent time training at altitude as she prepares for her next big goal at the UCI Road World Championships in September.

"I am really keen to race again after three weeks at altitude, I didn't have much time at home after La Course because I really believe I need three weeks at altitude to have the benefits from it mentally and physically," Van Vleuten said in a team press release.

"It was a good time after a busy period to switch off mentally and physically. I had a good time so it was good for my mind and my legs."

Van Vleuten, the current individual time trial world champion, will form part of a powerful team in the Ladies Tour of Norway team time trial alongside Amanda Spratt, Jessica Allen, Gracie Elvin, Lucy Kennedy and Alexandra Manly. The team lost the team time trial at the Giro Rosa to Sunweb by one second and hope to do well this time around.

After the team time trial, the same riders will line up for the Ladies Tour of Norway stage race, with three road stages ranging from 128km to 156km.

"I look forward to joining the team again, it is a race that's not a goal for me so I will go there as a support rider," Van Vleuten said. "We decided with the directors to support the team and it is a nice way to race together with the team and the other girls can have a good at some stages.

"For the team time trial I look forward to going as hard as we can, and especially after how we did the TTT so well at the Giro-Rosa, it inspired me to go again. I think we showed that we showed we can maybe win in Norway, so I'm looking forward to starting the race with that and it is also super good preparation for the world championships team time trial."

Spratt also had a strong July finishing third overall at the Giro Rosa and 8th at La Course before helping the team at RideLondon Classique.

"I'm looking forward to the TTT, as a team we already showed in the Giro-Rosa that we are developing a lot in this discipline so this is another chance to challenges ourselves and aim for more," Spratt said. "The girls did a great job on Sweden with only five riders so we can go with a lot of motivation and confidence into the TTT in Norway.

"The last time I did the race was in 2015 when I came third on GC so I have good memories. It's such a beautiful area and well organised race. There are no huge climbs but it's always rolling up and down and with some technical finishing loops it can become quite unpredictable.

"I like that style of racing and I also think it really suits our team so I'm looking forward to playing the game with good numbers in the finals."

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