Boels Dolmans continued their run of success in the PostNord Vårgårda West Sweden team time trial, winning the highly prestigious test for the third year in a row.
After 42.5 kilometres on rolling roads in the wind and rain, the Dutch team stopped the clock with a time of 53:07, some 16 seconds faster than world team time trial champion’s Team Sunweb who finished in second place. Cervélo-Bigla finished third in 53:54.
The Boels-Dolmans team included Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Amy Pieters, Amalie Dideriksen, Karol-Anne Canuel and Christine Majerus.
The TTT course consisted of an out-and-back section and much of the eleven-kilometre circuit that will also be used in the road race on Monday. The first split time came at the turning point in Herrljunga after 16.4 kilometres, the second split time was in Vårgårda at kilometre 31.9 when passing close to the finish. After this, the teams had to do another 10.6 kilometres on the short circuit near Vårgårda before finishing on Kungsgatan.
The Swedish summer has been exceptionally dry, leading to a number of forest fires, but today the riders were met by wind and rain.
Rain started to fall just as the first team - Cogeas-Mettler - headed out on the course, and the rain never stopped for the rest of the race. The wind also played a part as there was tailwind on the section towards Herrljunga and headwind back to Vårgårda. On the final lap, the wind obviously changed direction as the riders completed the circuit.
Team Virtu Cycling were the second team to start and the Danish squad set a stellar first split time of 18:35 minutes that stood for the rest of the race. But disaster struck on the way back when Mieke Kröger punctured. The team lost valuable time waiting for the German powerhouse, relinquishing all chances of a top result, but still set a best time at the second split in 40:50 minutes.
The first team to beat this was Wiggle-High5 who passed the time check after exactly forty minutes. Cervélo-Bigla cut another 37 seconds off that but their time of 39:23 minutes was beaten by Team Sunweb right behind them, who needed only 38:58 minutes for the first 31.9 kilometres. The only team to come close to this was Boels Dolmans who passed through after 39:04 minutes.
Wiggle-High5 were also the first to beat Team Virtu Cycling's time at the finish when they stopped the clock after 54:49 minutes.
This was again beaten by Cervélo-Bigla in 53:54 minutes and Team Sunweb 53:23 minutes. However, Boels Dolmans would make up ground on the team time trial world champions on the final 10.6 kilometres and the orange-clad team crossed the finish line after 53:07, turning their six-second deficit into a 16-second advantage and defending their Vårgårda TTT title.
As part of the winning team, Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) defends her lead in the UCI Women's WorldTour ranking ahead of the Postnord Vårgårda West Sweden Road Race event on Monday.
The road race route is the same as last year's but includes several final short circuits in Vargarda. The riders first race four short laps followed by a longer loop of about 55km that contains four shorter gravel road portions, before ending with four laps of the 11km circuit, for a total of 141km.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:53:08|
|2||Team Sunweb Women||0:00:16|
|3||Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||0:00:47|
|6||Waowdeals Pro Cycing Team||0:01:54|
|8||Team Virtu Cycling||0:02:55|
|9||Movistar Team Women||0:03:06|
|10||BTC City Ljubljana||0:03:14|
|11||Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank||0:03:22|
|12||Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling Team||0:04:11|
|15||FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope||0:04:32|
|17||Astana Womens Team||0:06:10|