ORICA-AIS Finishes Second at Vargarda Team Time Trial World CupSat 18 Aug 2012
ORICA-AIS finished second at the first of two World Cup races in Vargarda, Sweden. The only stand alone team time trial the team contests before the Team Time Trial World Championships opened the two-race weekend on Friday.
Pre-race favorites Specialized-luluemon posted the fastest time over the 42.5 kilometer course, coming in at 52:58. ORICA-AIS posted the fastest time at the first checkpoint, three seconds ahead of Specialized-lululmeon, before slipping back to second at the second checkpoint. They remained in second, 29 seconds behind the race winners, at the finish.
“The time difference between first and second was a little more than I had hoped, but there are so many things the girls said after the race about what they could have done differently,” said Sports Director Dave McPartland. “It’s not like we did everything right and still finished with a huge time gap on Specialized. We can make some big, big improvements over the next six weeks and close that gap. That’s the biggest positive I take away from today.”
The lumpy course with some technical features in the second half of the race suited the strengths of the Australian squad individually. McPartland noted it was hard to predict what the collective strengths of his riders would be having only limited race experience together in this discipline.
“This is our second team time trial at this level,” he explained. “Our first team time trial was at Energiewacht Tour, and we didn’t have the same riders in Holland that we have here. It’s sort of hard to predict what to expect in a race scenario when we haven’t had much of a chance to ride with each other.”
Despite the lack of experience, McPartland was able to set targets for the team throughout the race.
“The girls hit the targets we set on the first part of the course,” noted McPartland. “The second half of the race is where we saw most of the errors. Apart from these errors, the girls did a reasonably good job. I’m happy for them, and I’m happy that we’re all clear on areas where we can improve. I’m confident that we have the capacity to make these improvements and go better at the team time trials at Holland Ladies Tour and Worlds.”