Road World Cup 2008
Open de Suede, Vårgåda 132km
a hot, sunny day in Vårgåda, Kori Seehafer (Menikini Selle Italia)
initiated the winning break with 104km of the race completed and held off
the threat fellow escapee Kim Anderson (Team Columbia Women) leaving it
until the 250m to go mark before launching her winning sprint for the
race was contested over a technical 11 kilometre circuit based on the town
of Vårgåda, which includes the leg-sapping Hägrungabacken climb.
just 27km of the race completed the first of many attacks started. At the
bottom of the Hägrungabacken climb the Swede Emma Johansson (AA Drink)
tried to get away with Carla Ryan (Cervelo Lifeforce) and Linda Villumsen
(Team Columbia Women). The break only managed a 5 second gap and did not
succeed any further as Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung, Bigla and DSB
moved to the front to close it down,
Treier (Estonia) fresh from her recent success in the Thüringen Rundfahrt
with her team Gauss, tried in shake things up with Pascale Schneider
(Cervelo Lifeforce) and Loes Gunnewijk (Team Flexpoint) but again the
peloton did not allow the break to go.
tried to attack on the climb again but this was countered by Villumsen and
Eleonora van Dijk (Vrienden van het Platteland). Villumsen and van Dijk
counter attacked and with 38km completed the pair had a 5 second gap.
was on the front trying to bring the break back this time. She was joined
by Sarah Duster (Cervelo Lifeforce), Andrea Thürig (Bigla) and Silvia
Valsecchi (Menikini Selle Italia), a couple of Team Flexpoint riders and
Janel Holcomb (Webcor Builders). They group could not do enough to bring
the break back and the two riders managed to gain a 30 second advantage.
58.7km of the race completed, Villumsen and van Dijk were just maintaining
their 30 second advantage but the peloton were chasing hard up the climb
to try to catch them. Cervelo Lifeforce rider, Christiane Soeder, was on
the front driving hard and the leaders were caught on the decent and the
break was over.
was an immediate counter attack, it was Treier again who was joined by
Edita Puckinskaite and Regina Schleicher (Équipe Nürnberger
Versicherung) with Kirsten Wild (AA Drink), Karin Thürig (Cervelo
Lifeforce) and Luise Keller (Team Columbia Women), Emma Johansson (AA
Drink) Iris Slappendel (Team Flexpoint), An van Rie (Vrienden van het
Platteland), Andrea Bosman (DSB) Christine Thorburn (Webcor), Karin Aune
(Swedish National Team), Suzanne De Goede (Équipe Nürnberger
Versicherung), Anderson and Oxana Kozonchuk (Menikini Selle Italia) on
their wheels. This break gained 25 seconds, before being ended, due to an
unfortunate crossing of wheels and a crash. Two of the Équipe Nürnberger
riders and Kirsten Wild (AA Drink) went down, Wild landed on Schleicher.
Wild was able to continue and Puckinskaite rode on for a further
lap before retiring, Schleicher had to retire immediately.
68km completed, the accident had caused a small split in the race and a
number of top riders who were held up including Ina Teutenberg (Team
Columbia Women) had to chase hard to get back on and managed to do so, on
the decent. With the bunch back together it was not long before the
attacks started again. At Olstorp on the route into back into the town of Vargarrda
a small group of riders managed to get away.
group included Andrea Thürig, Nicole Brändli, Noemi Cantele and Monica
Holler (Bigla), Duster, Keller and Teutenberg. They had a small gap on the
chasing peloton at the base of the 8th time up the climb. Three
riders attacked off the front of this group, Cantele, Duster and Keller.
Treier was again on the front and brought the break back, in doing so, she
created a split in the peloton. 11 riders went with her including
Seehafer, Anderson, Erinne Willock (Webcor), Charlotte Becker (Équipe Nürnberger
Versicherung) and both Thürig’s.
attacked this group on the climb and it split again, Seehafer, Andrea and
Karin Thürig and Becker. Anderson bridged the gap and the six quickly
gained momentum and a 9 second gap on the peloton. This gap increased
steadily as the majority of the top teams were represented and it was
clear that tactically the peloton was being controlled by the members of
the teams represented in the break.
six leaders had a gap of 1 minute 35 seconds at the 100km point. At the
climb for the tenth time, Seehafer attacked and gained a small advantage.
Anderson was the only one able to go with her and the pair worked hard to
increase their lead. They held the lead for the next two laps of the race
the start of finishing straight, on the approach to bell lap, Seehafer and
Anderson had a 26 second gap over the four chasers. As the chasers crossed
the through the start finish line Karin Thürig was on the front and the
break was down to 22 seconds. Karin and Andrea Thürig worked together to
bring the gap to the leaders down to 7 seconds at the foot of the climb.
and Anderson responded and increased their lead again to 20 seconds on the
climb. On the decent the Thürig sisters moved to the front and the gap
came down to 15 seconds. The effort was too much however and the two
leaders increased their lead again.
500m to go, Anderson was on the front with Seehafer on her wheel. Seehafer
attacked at 250m to go and Anderson did not have enough left in the tank
to respond, Seehafer won. In the sprint for third, Becker managed to cross
the line ahead of Karin Thürig, Willock and Andrea Thürig 1 minute 10
seconds down on the leaders.
Angela Hennig (DSB) led the remaining peloton home at 2 minutes 43 seconds with the World Cup leader Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Women) safely on her wheel. Arndt had a commanding lead going into the race and secured enough points to maintain the lead into the next round, the team time trial in Vårgåda, then the next road round, the GP de Plouay on the 24th August 2008.
Seehafer (Menikini Selle Italia) was overjoyed at winning the
race of her life. “I
am so happy, we were going quite slowly and Kim [Anderson] was in the
front with 500m to go and in the past I have had a good sprint but it
hasn’t been that good lately. I just wanted to believe in myself and I
waited until the250m mark to jump. I went and did not look back”
Anderson (Team Columbia Women) had bridged the gap to the break
and was a little disappointed at being beaten at the finish. “I
do so much and I get so excited for the team and then all of a sudden I
think ‘oh not it’s me’. When the break went I pushed myself to cover
the gap. When I got there, most of the teams were represented so they sat
up and I thought ‘here we go’. The break worked really well and then
Seehafer attacked over the climb. I went with her and we worked well
together. I just didn’t have anything left in my legs at the end” said
Becker (Équipe Nürnberger Versicherung) gave a two finger
salute over the line to win third and talked about the race and finish. “From the beginning, it was
tough, I went with every attack and normally I want to drive the first
eight laps as hard as I can and then the best of our team take over. Today
though I ended up in the break and it was hard. When the two went we
wanted to make sure that they didn’t get more than 30 seconds and we
worked hard to do that. Then the two sisters [Karin
and Andrea Thürig] attacked and
worked together, it was really hard for me to stay with them, I
knew that I was ok at sprinting but the sisters tried hard to break
away” said Becker.
Arndt (Team Columbia Women) held onto the World Cup leader
jersey and was very relaxed at the end of the race. “I
am happy for Kim, I think it is great for her” she said. “Everyone in
the team has the same rights and a job to do and today it turned out that
Kim was in the break. It is pretty good, she is such a strong rider that
no one really sees” added Arndt.
had a relatively calm race as the World Cup leader. “We tried to gain some points
today and it worked out well, I finished 8th so that is good
for my lead” said Arndt.
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