Specialized-lululemon wins Open de Suède Vårgårda team time trial
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Specialized-lululemon wins Open de Suède Vårgårda team time trial

by Ben Atkins at 1:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
German-registered team defends the race it won as HTC-Highroad; Marianne Vos still leads classification

specialized-lululemon The Specialized-lululemon team of Charlotte Becker, US champion Amber Neben, Evie Stevens, Ina Teutenberg, Netherlands champion Ellen van Dijk and Trixi Worrack won the Open de Suède Vårgårda team time trial, the sixth round of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Women’s World Cup, successfully defending the title that most of the riders took as HTC-Highroad the previous year. The German-registered team completed the rolling, 42.5km mostly out-and-back course to the north east of Gothenberg, Sweden, in a time of 52 minutes, 58 seconds, to beat the Orica-GreenEdge team of World champion Judith Arndt, Loes Gunnewijk, Alex Rhodes, Linda Villumsen, Shara Gillow and Claudia Häusler by 29 seconds.

The Stichting Rabobank team of Olympic road champion and World Cup leader Marianne Vos, Belgian champion Liesbet De Vocht, Tatiana Antoshina, Iris Slappendel, Thalita de Jong and Roxane Knetemann was third, 1’49” behind Specialized-lululemon.

"It was a very exciting win today, it was so nerve racking in the car, it was such a close race between us and Orica-AIS," said Specialized-lululemon team owner Kristy Scrymgeour. "They really put it to us in the first third of the race. We had to bring it home."

"It was an exciting and nerve racking race," echoed the team's directeur sportif Ronny Lauke. "The girls looked great on the road and kept their cool on the technical course. They had to fight back after the first time split but they didn’t panic and they were really able to bring it home. It was amazing to watch. At one point they hit 80km/hour coming back to town."

The Norwegian national team was the first to ride, and posted a time of 1 hour and 12 seconds, which was not to stay at the top for long. Each successive team went faster, with the exception of the Finland national team, but it was RusVelo - which included German former World champion Hanka Kupfernagel - that set the first competitive time with 56’19”.

The Russian team’s time was already under threat however, as Specialized-lululemon was powering round the first part of the course; crossing the 16.4km checkpoint in a new best time of 19’06”, some 50 seconds quicker than RusVelo had been.

Orica-GreenEdge was three seconds quicker at the first check, but had slipped to ten seconds behind by the time it reached the 31.9km check. Specialized-lululemon’s time of 39’06” was also to hold up to the remaining teams of AA Drink-Leontien.nl [with Emma Pooley, Jessie Daams, Sharon Laws, Shelley Olds, Lucinda Brand and Kirsten Wild keen to impress after the announcement that their team is to fold at the end of the year] and Stichting Rabobank.

Having passed Hitec Products-Mistral Home, which started three minutes ahead, at around half way, Specialized-lululemon also reeled in Skil-Argos, and caught the Dutch team for six minutes shortly before it reached the finish line.

Specialized-lululemon crossed the line in 52’58”, to go 3’20” quicker than RusVelo, and went into an unassailable lead. AA Drink-Leontien.nl was the next to finish, quicker than RusVelo, but only good enough for provisional second; Orica-GreenEdge followed close behind the Dutch team, but had slipped to 28 seconds behind the leaders; Stichting Rabobank - having started last - finished last, overtaking compatriots AA Drink-Leontien.nl to take the final place on the podium.

"It was an important win for us," said Lauke. "Coming up in September is the inaugural World Team Time Trial Championships for Pro Teams and we have focused a lot on preparing for that. It's the perfect opportunities for professional teams to showcase their sponsor at a World Championship event and it's definitely a big goal for us.

"This event in Sweden is always such a great battle and having it and the team time trial coming up at Holland Ladies Tour is great preparation for Worlds."

With just 35 points awarded to the members of the winning team - as opposed to 75 for an individual road race victory - Marianne Vos’ large overall lead in the eight-race series was never in danger. The Olympic champion’s advantage has been cut slightly by Arndt and Stevens, but she still holds a 56-point lead with just two rounds of the series to go.

“Well, we can be pretty happy with that result I think,” said Vos. “Third place is good, Specialized-Lululemon and Orica-AIS are strong teams. We tried to get as close as possible, for us the third place is the best we could do.

“I am very happy for the World Cup,” she added. “I had time after the Olympics but no recovery time, just celebration time.”

Orica-GreenEdge takes the lead in the team classification however; the Australian team is equal on points with Vos' Stichting Rabobank, with 402 each, but takes first place in the series having finished higher in the most recent race.

Result Open de Suède Vårgårda team time trial
1. Specialized-lululemon (Ger), 42.5km in 52’58”
2. Orica-GreenEdge (Aus) @ 28s
3. Stichting Rabobank (Ned) @ 1’49”
4. AA Drink-Leontien.nl (Ned) @ 2’44”
5. RusVelo (Rus) @ 3’20”
6. Dolmans-Boels (Ned) @ 5’11”
7. Skil-Argos (Ned) @ 6’02”
8. Ibis Cycles (GBr) @ 6’04”
9. Hitec Products-Mistral Home (Nor) @ 6’11”
10. Denmark National Team (Den) @ 6’29”

World Cup standings after six rounds
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabobank 225pts
2. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica-GreenEdge 169
3. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon 110
4. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl 100
5. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 97
6. Shelley Olds (USA) AA Drink-Leontien.nl 95
7. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge 70
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hited Products-Mistral Home 86
9. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge 65
10. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 62

Team ranking
1. Orica-GreenEdge (Aus) 402 points
2. Stichting Rabobank (Ned) 402
3. Specialized-lululemon (Ger) 383
4. AA Drink-Leontien.nl (Ned) 323
5. Hitec Products-Mistral Home (Nor) 141

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