UCI Road World Cup 2011
Round 7 -HTC Highroad finally win in Sweden TTT-
Open de Suede, Vårgåda 42,5km
HTC Highroad started the 7th round of the World Cup, the Team Time Trial in Sweden as favourites and they lived up to expectation. They completed the 42.5km course, in a time of 52 minutes 02.9 seconds, 2 minutes 32 seconds faster than the winning time from 2010, in a average speed of 48.6 km/hr. AA Drink pulled out a surprise ride to take second, in a time of 54 minutes 46.6 seconds, 6.1 seconds ahead of Garmin Cervelo who completed the course in 54 minute 52.5 seconds.
Conditions in Sweden for the 7th round of the World Cup, were a little windy and humid but at least dry. Earlier rain, looked like it might create a repeat of conditions from 2010 but in the end the sun shone and it was warm.
On the run out to the turning point after 16.4km, the riders had a head win and the benefit of tail wind on the way back into Vårgåda, before starting the loop that will be the World Cup circuit on Sunday.
There was plenty of energy around as the seventh round of the 2011 World Cup took place, in Vårgåda. The town was again excited to put on the racing. The town was buzzing with locals who came out to support the teams in particular Hitec, the team of Swedish National Champion Emma Johansson, Alriksson-Go Green and the Swedish National team. It was appropriate that the winning team also contain Swedish rider Emilia Fahlin.
It is the only team time trial on the World Cup calendar and one of only a handful available in the season and is targeted by several teams as they plan their year. HTC Highroad have long played second fiddle to Garmin-Cervelo formerly Cervelo Test Team, this year however, Garmin Cervelo were the quickest at the first time check but slowed in the second, crossing the line 1 minute 49.2 seconds behind HTC Highroad. HTC Highroad were fastest at all time checks. They were together as a team until the final climbs, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Fahlin had done their job and the remaining team completed the last 3.5km.
The Australian National put in a great performance to finish 4th. They were, until HTC Highroad started, the fastest team at the final check point at 31.9km losing time on the hilly section before finishing 1 minute 50.2 seconds down.
Nederland Bloeit finished in 5th place overall. Marianne Vos remains overall leader in the World Cup with team mate Annemiek van Vleuten in second and Emma Johansson in third.
The road race looks set to be a great battle of the home favourite Johansson against the Dutch pair of Vos and Van Vleuten.
Ronny Lauke (HTC Highroad Director) was over the moon with his teams performance, “It is great. It was one of our major goals for this season to win the team time trial here in Sweden. We made several training sessions prior to coming to Sweden and on the course. We drew out all the knowledge we had as a team and finally we won it. Not only by a few seconds but with a major gap. We are really really happy,” said Lauke
Amber Neben (HTC Highroad) was all smiles as she waited with her team for the podium, "It is a huge result. We take great pride in our time trialling and our teamwork and togetherness. We put in a lot of time and preparation together working on this and it is fun to pull it off," said Neben. "We knew tactically that we would probably lose two riders just prior to the final climb. We had Emilia [Fahlin] pull her last turn there and then it just depended on who the last four would be at the end. I think today we did everything perfectly. We were technically sound and a solid unit and I think it showed in the result," added Neben
Trixi Worrack (AA Drink) pulled out a great ride to finish second in he Sweden TTT, “We thought before, if we did everything right we could be third. We made a few mistakes but finishing second is better than we had hoped for. It is great for the team," said Worrack
Emma Pooley (Garmin Cervelo) was very disappointed not to at least achieve second. The team has after all, the prestige of having never been beaten in a World Cup team time trial. "I am sad not to be second," said Pooley. "We gave it everything today. I think we made a few error that cost us second," she added.
Vos (Nederland Bloeit) was happy with the way her team performed.
“I am happy. For us it was important to ride a smooth TTT and we did
that. We are happy, it is 5th place and I stay in the lead in the [World
Cup] classification. We still have two people at the top so it looks good
for Sunday. It is good to have two in front. It is easier to play a game
and different tactics during the race. We will make a plan and decide in
the race how we make it happen,” said Vos
Theo Maucher (Garmin Cervelo) arrived in Sweden with a previously undefeated team, talking before the race, “We won the last three editions here but I think this year HTC will be the big favourites. We will be happy with a place on the podium and a good ride from the team,” said Maucher.
Anderson (Race Manager) was very excited to have the
opportunity to run two World Cup rounds in Sweden again, “On a
scale from 1-10, I would have to say 12. I am really excited about this
year. I am so glad, we have again had the confidence from the UCI to run
not one but two World Cup events. It is also apt that that Vargarda holds
this event again. The birth of modern time trialling started here in the
60’s. As the race manager I predict that HTC will win and Garmin will be
second. It will be close third, maybe Emma Johansson and her team Hitec
will take third,” said Anderson.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>[2011_ChangedCopy/Gallery2011/WorldCupRoad/07_Sweden/PhotoLndex.html]
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