HTC-Highroad wins Vårgårda World Cup team time trial at last
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Friday, July 29, 2011

HTC-Highroad wins Vårgårda World Cup team time trial at last

by Ben Atkins at 4:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Finally a victory for the American team after three consecutive second places

htc-highroadThe HTC-Highroad team of Judith Arndt, Charlotte Becker, Amber Neben, Ina Teutenberg, Ellen Van Dijk and Emilia Fahlin has finally won the World Cup team time trial in Vårgårda, Sweden. The American team finished second in the previous three editions of the event, behind the Cervélo TestTeam – and its previous incarnations – each time but has taken the victory at last.

HTC-Highroad’s time of 53’02” for the 42.km rolling, out-and-back course was a massive 1’37” faster than AA Drink-Leontien.nl in second place, with Garmin-Cervélo another six seconds back in third.

"We've been close several times here, three times second in previous years, and this time we finally got the win so we're very pleased," said HTC-Highroad team manager Ronny Lauke. "The whole team did a great job, they were amazing. We were already thirty-five seconds ahead of the rest of the field at the first checkpoint so that was really motivating because that was where we'd lost time last year.

"But we kept our feet on the ground and concentrated on keeping ahead of the field and I think we finally finished about ninety seconds ahead of the next squad," he added. "Everything worked out fine today day, no incidents of any kind, but there's been a lot of hard work behind the scenes too."

The Sweden national team was the first to start, and posted a time of 58’27”. This was quickly beaten by the next team to start, the Ukrainian national team, who lowered it by 47 seconds to 57’40”. Two teams later though, the Russian national team smashed the Ukrainian time, lowering it to 56’02”, only for the Australian National team to lower the best time further still, to 54’46”.

Australia was to occupy the top of the standings for quite some time, until the AA Drink-Leontien.nl team went seven seconds faster. The Dutch team managed to hold off Garmin-Cervélo who, although technically the defending champion and featuring the World and Italian champions in Emma Pooley and Noemi Cantele, is an entirely different team to the one that was undefeated in this event. The British-registered team managed to slip inside the Australian time by a single second, but was still six short of AA Drink-Leontien.nl.

Almost as soon as HTC-Highroad started out on the course though, it was obvious that the team, which featured the German and Swedish time trial champions in Arndt and Fahlin, as well as a former World time trial champion in Neben, was going to win.

At the 16.4km checkpoint the American team was already 1’13” quicker than AA Drink-Leontien.nl, and this had increased to 1’28” by the 31.9km check. Teutenberg was shed on the biggest of the course’s climbs with a little over 6km to go, and Fahlin was dropped soon afterwards. The four remaining members of the team finished in 53’02” though, 1’37” quicker, and untouchable to Nederland Bloeit, the only team left to finish.

Nederland Bloeit, the team of World Cup leader Marianne Vos started last and, after 16.4km was up with the time of Australia. The Dutch team faded in the middle sector though and, despite rallying at the finish, could only manage fifth.

Despite taking fifth place, her worst result in the World Cup all season, Vos still comfortably leads the overall series, ahead of teammate Annemiek van Vleuten and Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-UCK), whose team finished seventh.

The women’s peloton stays in Vårgårda for the Open de Suede road race on Sunday.

Result Open de Suede Vårgårda team time trial
1. HTC-Highroad (USA) 42.5km in 53’02”
2. AA Drink-Leontien.nl (Ned) @ 1’37”
3. Garmin-Cervélo (GBr) @ 1’43”
4. Australian National Team (Aus) @ 1’44”
5. Nederland Bloeit (Ned) @ 1’55”
6. Russian National Team (Rus) @ 3’00”
7. Hitec Products-UCK (Nor) @ 3’13”
8. Germany National Team (Ger) @ 4’05”
9. Lotto Honda Team (Bel) @ 4’13”
10. MCipollini-Giambenini (Ita) 4’19”
11. Netherlands National Team (Ned) @ 4’32”
12. Ukraine National Team (Ukr) @ 4’38”
13. Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo (Ita) @ 5’00”
14. Sweden National Team (Swe) @ 5’25”
15. Alriksson Go:Green (Swe) @ 6’05”
16. Juvederm-Specializes (Can) @ 6’07”
17. Topsport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley (Bel) @ 6’14”
18. Dolmans Landscaping Team (Ned) @ 6’29”
19. Denmark National Team (Den) @ 6’34”
20. Vienne Futuroscope (Fra) @ 6’45”
21 Vaiano Solaristech (Ita) @ 7’09”

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