Blaak wins Vargarda World Cup

Chantal Blaak (Specialized lululemon) leads Emma Johansson (Orica)

Chantal Blaak (Specialized lululemon) leads Emma Johansson (Orica) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/

Chantal Blaak (Specialized-lululemon) won the Open de Suède Vargarda World Cup on Sunday. The Dutchwoman beat her two compatriots, and late-race breakaway companions, Amy Pieters (Giant-Shimano) and Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv Woman Cycling Team).

Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) won the sprint for fourth, and by finishing in eighth place, ahead of Orica's Emma Johansson, Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) ticked off another major achievement, securing the overall series win with one race to go. The World Cup finishes on Saturday, with one last chance for glory at the GP de Plouay.

How it unfolded

The Vårgårda road race World Cup is one of the hardest to predict of the series. It was 132 kilometres, 12 laps of the 11km course that was also part of Friday’s Team Time Trial World Cup, including a climb and some technical corners. In the past, it’s been won by everything from bunch sprints to solo attacks. Specialized-lululemon won the TTT with a new course record in the pouring rain, and it became clear that the team entered the road race still riding on that high.

The first attacks of the race, along with the rain, came almost instantly, with the Swedish national team taking advantage of the live broadcasts to take it in turns to try to escape, until 37-year-old Malin Rydlund managed it, joined by Bigla’s Vera Koedooder at the end of the first lap, and the pair worked together to get a gap up over three minutes.

Usually such an early move could be ignored, but Koedooder is the type of opportunist who is capable of staying out all day, and there were some serious chase attempts, with Blaak and Maaike Polspoel (Liv-Shimano) especially active – and surprisingly ORICA-AIS missing out on the moves.

Missing the chases proved problematic for the Australian team, when a group of eight riders finally caught Rydlund and Koedooder with four and a half laps to go. With all the other major teams now represented at the front, including top riders Carmen Small (Specialized) and Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) it was down to ORICA to chase, taking nearly two laps to make the catch, and then pain really set in, as rider after rider exploded off the front trying to force another break, and their leader Johansson was left isolated.

The final 25km were a non-stop flurry of attacks, with Rabo pushing especially hard – as soon as one rider was caught, another one would try. Specialized-lululemon and Boels-Dolmans alternated between chasing everything down and trying themselves, Blaak escaping on the final climb, caught at the top by a chase group of around 20.

The run-in back to Vårgårda was full of even more attacks and catches until at 3km to go, Knetemann made one last attempt. This time only two riders could match her – Pieters, who was third here last year, and Blaak once again. Blaak tried to drop the other two in the final kilometres, but despite the hectic chase behind them, it came down to a sprint between those three. Pieters started her sprint first, but Blaak passed her, making it a perfect weekend for the team, adding her first solo World Cup victory to her Team Time Trial gold.


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chantal Blaak (Ned) Specialized - lululemon3:26:22
2Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 1 - Cell 2
3Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:05
5Kirsten Wild (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 4 - Cell 2
6Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized - lululemonRow 5 - Cell 2
7Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AISRow 9 - Cell 2
11Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 10 - Cell 2
12Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana BePink Womens TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Claudia Lichternberg-Häusler (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 13 - Cell 2
15Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized - lululemonRow 14 - Cell 2
16Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren0:00:10
17Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Specialized - lululemonRow 16 - Cell 2
18Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized - lululemon0:00:29
19Ellen Van Dijn (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:00:46
20Jermaine Post (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle HondaRow 20 - Cell 2
22Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 21 - Cell 2
23Desiree Ehrler (Swi) Bigla Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 23 - Cell 2
25Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products0:00:48
26Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle HondaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle HondaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:02:18
29Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:02:21
30Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) TIBCO / To The TopRow 29 - Cell 2
31Vera Koedooder (Ned) Bigla Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City LjubljanaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 32 - Cell 2
34Ceclie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 33 - Cell 2
35Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Team RytgerRow 34 - Cell 2
36Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AISRow 36 - Cell 2
38Carmen Small McNellis (USA) Specialized - lululemonRow 37 - Cell 2
39Elena Kuchinskaya (Rus) RusVeloRow 38 - Cell 2
40Anastasiya Chulkova (Rus) RusVeloRow 39 - Cell 2
41Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products0:02:36
42Alexandra Nessmar (Swe) Firefighters Upsala CKRow 41 - Cell 2
43Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle HondaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Malin Rydlund (Swe)Team Rytger0:10:56
45Lauren Stephens (USA) TIBCO / To The TopRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jasmin Glaesser (Can) TIBCO / To The TopRow 45 - Cell 2
47Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) RusVeloRow 46 - Cell 2
48Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Estado de Mexico FarenRow 47 - Cell 2
49Monique van de Ree (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Kelly Markus (Ned) Team RytgerRow 49 - Cell 2
51Taryn Heather (Aus) Bigla Cycling TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Yulia Blindyuk (Rus) RusVeloRow 51 - Cell 2
53Sara Headley Clafferty (USA) TIBCO - To The TopRow 52 - Cell 2
54Ursa Pintar (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 53 - Cell 2
55Natalie van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Liisa Ehrberg (Est) EstoniaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Mia Radotic (Cro) BTC City LjubljanaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Henriette Woering (Ned) Team RytgerRow 58 - Cell 2
60Ida Erngren (Swe) SwedenRow 59 - Cell 2
61Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Bigla Cycling TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Martina Ritter (Aut) BTC City LjubljanaRow 61 - Cell 2
63Kseniya Dobrynina (Rus) AstanaBepinkRow 62 - Cell 2
64Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Bigla Cycling TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jacqueline Hahn (Aut) Bigla Cycling TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Miriam Bjørnsrud (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 65 - Cell 2
67Sara Olsson (Swe) Hitec ProductsRow 66 - Cell 2
68Aizhan Zhaparova (Rus) RusVeloRow 67 - Cell 2
69Natalia Boyarskaya (Rus) Servetto FootonRow 68 - Cell 2
70Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AISRow 69 - Cell 2
71Rozanne Slik (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team0:11:38
72Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Astana BePink Womens Team0:16:30
73Sara Penton (Swe) Sweden0:16:33


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