Johansson completes another Swedish double in dominant fashion

Sat 27 Jun 2015

Swede Emma Johansson has completed another national double, successfully defending her road race championship today to back up the time trial championship she won on Wednesday.

The victory is Johansson’s 12th Swedish championship – five in the road race and seven in the time trial.

The 31-year-old expected one of the toughest races of the year as the solo ORICA-AIS representative lining up against teams with numbers, but the 2015 Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria champion dominated the 124km race.

Johansson spent 100km up the road – initially with Moa Johansson for company before she attacked and rode the final 50km alone.

“I’m more than happy, I’m relieved,” Johansson said after a tiring ride. “With all my other results, it might not make sense that this is a really important one for me, but it is.”

“It’s one thing to win the time trial, but this is even better. There are more things that come into play here – tactics, technical difficulties, luck.

“Another year in the blue and yellow jersey means a lot to me. I’m very attached to it and I’m quite relieved that I can keep it for another year.”

The course featured three larger laps, which included a climb, before concluding with four laps of a 6.4km smaller circuit.

Initially part of a strong three-ride break that was brought back by the peloton, Johansson then surprised her main rivals to bridge across to a solo move by Moa Johansson.

“The first time up the hill, three of us rode away,” Johansson said. “It was me, Sara (Mustonen-Lichan) and Hanna (Nilsson) - the three on the podium today and actually the three on the podium at the time trial too. But the peloton caught us back.”

“There were some attacks after that, and Moa went away alone. She got quite a big gap actually.

“I attacked before the hill started (on the second lap). Sara and Hanna were out of position. I think they were surprised that I attacked when I did. It was much earlier than I went on the lap before. 

“I rode really hard the whole hill, and I caught Moa on the hill. I rode together with her from there.”

The peloton were left to battle it out for minor positions relatively early in the race as Johansson proved too strong for all.

“When I passed the finish line after the last big lap, then we had four laps of 6.4km,” Johansson explained. “From that (point), I rode on my own.”

“(The peloton) never caught any more time on me. It was 1’40, 1’50 all the way to the finish line on the last lap.

“I was sort of sure about the win when I came in for the little laps, but I didn’t know it until then.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Edvard Wendelin, SCOTT Sweden.