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Specialized-lululemon wins Vårgårda team time trial World Cup

By:
Sarah Connolly

Fourth win in a row for Specialized-lululemon

For the last few years, the big question about the Crescent Vårgårda Team Time Trial World Cup has been whether any teamcould beat Specialized-lululemon. The US-based team have won for the last three years in a row - and despite losing individual time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk to Boels-Dolmans, and Marianne Vos declaring her 2014 ambitions for winning cyclo-cross, road and time trial world championships, nothing could stop them, as they blasted through the pouring rain to become the first team to win four times here, and with a new fastest time on the course.

With the help of the tailwinds in the first part of the course, they raced the 16.4km to the Herrljunga checkpoint at 53.6kph, 50 seconds faster than Vos’ Rabobank-Liv and 51 seconds ahead of Orica-AIS. By the time they’d returned to Vårgårda, the gap to Rabo had only increased by eight seconds, but ORICA had faded, and Boels were in 3rd place, crossing split two 1:52 behind.

But it was over the final 10 kilometres that Specialized really pulled out their lead. It’s a loop the teams know well, the same course as the Vårgårda Road Race World Cup lap, with a short, sharp climb, descent and some tight corners at the end. The technical aspects just made them stronger, and their finishing time was 1:21 faster than Rabobank.

It’s a great strength of Specialized-lululemon that despite changing rosters, they keep their TTT training so strong, especially given the very few chances to race them. This is only the second UCI-level TTT of the year, and of this squad, only Evelyn Stevens and Trixi Worrack were part of the squad that won in 2012, and there were no riders at all from the year they first won, as HTC-Highroad, in 2011.

Despite Rabobank-Liv and Boels-Dolmans training hard and stepping up themselves, Specialized-lululemon only seems to get better, and they will start the world championship TTT on September 21 as the favorites.

But is this the last year we’ll see them dominate? With the sponsorship deals with both Specialized and lululemon coming to an end, team owner Kristy Scrymgeour is currently running a crowd-sourced fundraiser to try to keep the team going next year. So just as the Cervélo Test Team folded after winning here three times, we might not get the chance to see them go for a fifth victory.

The Crescent Vårgårda weekend continues on Sunday with the road race, the penultimate round of the 2014 UCI Women's Road World Cup, and finishing in third place with Boels-Dolmans means Lizzie Armitstead has increased her series lead. It’s a familiar course, but always an unpredictable race, and with the UCI streaming it live for the first time, there’s plenty of incentive for more fireworks.

Results

Teams
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Specialized - Lululemon (USA) 0:52:12  
  Trixi Worrack    
  Evelyn Stevens    
  Karol-Ann Canuel    
  Lisa Brennauer    
  Chantal Blaak    
2 Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team (Ned) 0:01:21  
  Marianne Vos    
  Thalita De Jong    
  Annemiek Van Vleuten    
  Anna Van Der Breggen    
3 Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Ned) 0:02:33  
  Elizabeth Armitstead    
  Christine Majerus    
  Megan Guarnier    
  Eleonora Van Dijk    
4 Orica - AIS (Aus) 0:02:51  
  Emma Johansson    
  Melissa Hoskins    
  Valentina Scandolara    
  Shara Gillow    
5 Bigla Cycling Team (Swi) 0:03:55  
  Lotta Lepistö    
  Jacqueline Hahn    
  Vera Koedooder    
  Elke Gebhardt    
  Taryn Heather    
6 Estado De Mexico Faren (Mex) 0:04:11  
  Elena Cecchini    
  Arianna Fidanza    
  Rossella Ratto    
  Maria Giulia Confalonieri    
7 Team Giant-Shimano (Ned) 0:04:19  
  Kirsten Wild    
  Floortje Mackaij    
  Sara Mustonen    
  Claudia Häusler    
8 Rusvelo (Rus) 0:05:05  
  Alexandra Burchenkova    
  Oxana Kozonchuk    
  Anastasiya Chulkova    
  Elena Kuchinskaya    
9 Hitec Products (Nor) 0:05:23  
  Julie Leth    
  Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen    
  Sara Olsson    
  Miriam Bjørnsrud    
  Emilie Moberg    
10 Tibco / To The Top (USA) 0:05:45  
  Lauren Stephens    
  Jasmin Glaesser    
  Joanne Kiesanowski    
  Amanda Miller    
11 Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team (Ned) 0:06:47  
  Monique Van De Ree    
  Rozanne Slik    
  Natalie Van Gogh    
  Pauliena Rooijakkers    
12 Btc City Ljubljana (Slo) 0:07:01  
  Eugenia Bujak    
  Mia Radotic    
  Polona Batagelj    
  Martina Ritter    
  Ursa Pintar    
13 Team Rytger (Den) 0:08:26  
  Kamilla Sofie Valin    
  Kelly Markus    
  Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig    
  Henriette Woering    
14 Astana Bepink Womens Team (Ita) 0:09:00  
  Susanna Zorzi    
  Kseniia Dobrynina    
  Marzhan Baitleuova    
  Alice Maria Arzuffi    
15 Servetto Footon (Ita) 0:09:30  
  Sari Saarelainen    
  Natalia Boyarskaya    
  Marina Likhanova    
  Anna Potokina