Boels Dolmans Cycling Team won the prestigious Crescent Vargarda Women's WorldTour team time trial held on Friday in Sweden. They covered the 42.5km course in 51:43, beating surprise runner-up team Cervelo Bigla by 36 seconds and last year's winning team Rabo Liv by 1:16.
The 42.5km route was held between the cities of Vargarda and Herrljunga. The teams started three minutes apart, travelled from Vargarda to Herrljunga before turning back along the same route. They tackled a smaller loop around Vargarda before heading back to the start-finish line.
Cervelo Bigla with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Lotta Lepisto, Joelle Numainville, Stephanie Pohl Lisa Klein and Nicole Hanselmann had the fastest split through the first time check in 19:18, six seconds faster than Boels Dolmans, 32 seconds faster than Rabo Liv and 50 seconds faster than Canyon-SRAM.
“We arrived last Sunday because this is one of the most important events for us of the year,” Cervelo Bigla manager Thomas Campana said.
“We have a major sponsor in Cervélo who makes the fastest bikes in the world and we have to commit on these high expectations. From Monday morning we trained on the course. Unfortunately, we got the first starting spot of the day so we had to go all or nothing. It was important to put pressure at the first split with a good time and that worked well."
Their blistering opening efforts might have cost them a little in the end as Boels Dolmans with road world champion Lizzie Armitstead, Chantal Blaak, Evelyn Stevens, Karol Ann Canuel, Ellen Van Dijk and Katarzyna Pawlowska came through with the fastest time at the second intermediate check in 37:52. They were ahead of teams Cervelo Bigla, Rabo Liv and Canyon-SRAM, which is the same order of the top-five teams at the finish line.
Third-placed team, Rabo Liv, that won the team time trial last year, fielded gold medallist in the road race and bronze in the time trial in Rio Anna van der Breggen, Shara Gillow, Marianne Vos, Roxane Knetemann, Anouska Koster and Moniek Tenniglo but the team was not strong enough to against the powerful Boels Dolmans or Cervelo Bigla.
Boels Dolmans will no doubt have their goals set on the team time trial world championships in Doha, Qatar in October.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||0:51:43|
|2||Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||0:00:37|
|3||Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||0:01:16|
|6||BTC City Ljubljana||0:02:35|
|8||Cylance Pro Cycling||0:02:57|
|10||Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team||0:03:22|
|12||Birn Team BMS||0:03:58|