They Olympics might still be going on, but for the women’s peloton, the race is now a memory and there’s work to be done.
Today, the biggest teams in pro women’s cycling battled it out at the Vårgårda TTT, and on Sunday they’ll also attack the road race.
After covering the 42.5km course from Vårgårda to Herrljunga and back in a time of 51 minutes 43 seconds, Boels-Dolmans were the eventual winners. In second were Cervelo Bigla, finishing in 52 minutes 20 seconds and Rabo Liv were third in a time of 52 minutes 59 seconds.
Pre-race favourites, and long standing TTT experts Canyon//SRAM rolled in fourth just under half a minute behind.
Boels-Dolmans fielded a team of Chantal Blaak, Evelyn Stevens, Karol-Ann Canuel, Ellen Van Dijk, Katarzyna Pawlowska and Lizzie Armitstead. Only four riders had to finish – and Armitstead opted to DNF, perhaps saving her legs for Sunday’s road race.
The team won their first ever TTT this year, on the opening stage of the Energiewacht Tour, and it’s a discipline they say they’ve been putting a real focus on.
DS Danny Stam said following the event: “The pacing strategy was great. All the girls were amazing. When we win like this, everything went right.”
Next up is the road race, taking place on Sunday. The 141km race will begin with laps of an 11.5km circuit, moving on to one long lap of around 30km, before another 4 laps on the short circuit.
The long lap includes a significant climb, and there are multiple gravel sections – though a bunch sprint is expected. So we’re looking for a winner who can handle a bike on gravel, climb, and sprint…
The race forms two rounds of the UCI Women’s World Tour. Leader Megan Guarnier is not racing, but since she leads with 886 points ahead of team mate Armitstead with 545, we know we won’t be seeing a changing of the guard.