Velocio-SRAM aim for fourth win at Crescent Women Vargarda World Cup TTT
Velocio-SRAM head into the Crescent Women Vargarda World Cup team time trial as the three-time defending champions and they are aiming to win a fourth title on Friday. It will be the eighth round of the World Cup series and held along the same 42.5km course as last year in Sweden.
World time trial champion Lisa Brennauer will be among the six-rider team starting the event. “We’ve been doing a great TTT camp to prepare for the race and to form a nice unit. We bring a mix of experienced and new riders to the start in Sweden. It’s important to race together as a team, to be a unit. That’s the key for success. It’s going to be exciting to see how we can perform together.”
Brennauer also noted that the team time trial in Sweden will be the last chance to the team to race as a unit in the discipline before the UCI Road World Championships held in Richmond, Virginia, in September. Velocio-SRAM are also three-time defending champions of the world title and hope to secure a fourth. “I expect the TTT to be a good indicator for World Championships but some teams are missing some of their best riders due to injuries so things could look different at World Championships.”
World Cup rounds eight and nine head to Sweden
A world-class field is expected to participate in the eighth and ninth rounds of the UCI Women’s World Cup at the Crescent Women World Cup Vårgårda TTT and Road Race held on August 21 and 23 in Sweden. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) is currently leading the standings ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda) and Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv). The 10th and final round will be held at the GP de Plouay Bretagne on August 29 in France.
Women's World Cup standings after round 7 at the Sparkassen Giro
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans||335||pts|
|2||Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle Honda||296|
|3||Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv||290|
|4||Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda||255|
|5||Annemiek Van Vleuten (Blr) Bigla Pro Cycling||226|
|6||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv||225|
|7||Elena Cecchini (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies||192|
|8||Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra) Rabo Liv||182|
|9||Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Velocio-SRAM||175|
|10||Shelley Olds (USA) Ale Cipollini||145|
New women's Tour of Poland in works
Race organisers for the men’s Tour de Pologne have announced that they are working on creating a women’s stage race in 2016.
“The plan is simple. Three or four stages of women’s racing finishing one day before Tour de Pologne. I mean, it’s going to be one event for we want to organize it on the same level. That’s the key point – it’s going to be either top-level racing or nothing. The same infrastructure, same media and television coverage in women race as in WorldTour race,” said race director director Czeslaw Lang.
Lang noted that the proposed women's race will commence before men’s race, which starts on July 12 next year, and that he would like to see it run from Baltic Sea to the country’s capital in Warsaw. The men’s race will be held in July, instead of August, because of conflicts with the Olympic Games in Rio. That means the men’s race will happen during the second week of the Tour de France and the women’s race could conflict with the Giro Rosa.
Lang also noted that the race needs to be financially stable and be able to offer the women’s field a suitable prize purse. “We don’t want the winner of women’s race to get a blender on the podium and a winner of a men’s event a cheque,” Lang said. “If we manage it financially, we want it to start in 2016. If not, we’ll keep searching [for sponsors].”
This isn’t this first time that Poland has held a women’s event. Eko Tour Dookola Polski was held between 1998 and 2008 and the list of the winners includes Hanka Kupfernagel, Judith Arndt, Tatiana Guderzo and Kirsten Wild.
Team TIBCO-SVB set for racing on two fronts
Team TIBCO-SVB is set to race on both sides of the Atlantic with the Women's USA Pro Challenge and the Crescent Women World Cup Vårgårda both beginning on Friday. Racing simultaneously is a stretch for the women’s team though they remain hopeful focusing on stage wins in Colorado, and to contest for the overall in the World Cup overseas.
“Having the infrastructure to support two teams is certainly a big demand for any women’s program,” said Ed Beamon, general manager and sport director for the team. Beamon will be directing the squad in Europe while Jeff Pierce will take the reigns in Colorado, having raced in four editions of the Coors Classic, a precursor to the current US Pro Challenge.
The Vårgårda is a two-day event attracting the top teams and riders in the world, with a team time trial followed by a road race. Team TIBCO will look to National Racing Calendar Champion Lauren Stephens and US criterium champion, Kendall Ryan for results. “I know we’ll be up against the best riders in the world, but I also think we have a very competitive roster for Vårgårda,” Beamon said.
Fielding a smaller team in Colorado, the event consists of a time trial, road race, and criterium ending on the same day as the men's race on Sunday. “His [Pierce] knowledge of the area will be a great advantage, and of course he will offer the girls great tactical insight,” Beamon said. “We’d really like to win a stage, but I think a general classification podium is also possible.”