Tenniglo lights up the final of Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden with a strong solo attack

Sun 18 Aug 2019

Dutch rider Moniek Tenniglo came close to her first WorldTour victory today in Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden, attacking on the penultimate lap and leading the race solo until the final three-kilometres.

Tenniglo, often a workhorse for Mitchelton-SCOTT, took her opportunity with both hands with a powerful solo ride, giving it everything to try and hold off the chasing peloton, only to be caught agonisingly close to the finish as the peloton geared up for a bunch sprint.

Tenniglo’s solo move came after a lot of work from Mitchelton-SCOTT who were active throughout the race with Grace Brown represnted in an early breakaway and with Sarah Roy eventually sprinting to 12th place behind the winner Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtue Cycling).

Great gravel

For 2019 extra gravel road sectors were added to the parcours, making it another interesting dimension to the Sweden WorldTour event. The peloton often strung out and split over the narrow gravel roads and it was Brown who made the first significant move of the day.

The Australian time trial champion attacked, taking with her 13 other riders, which forced the first and longest breakaway of the race. The group sat around 45seconds ahead until the peloton entered the final finishing laps where they were swallowed up ahead of the first time up the main climb. Showing great form, Brown remained very active towards the front of the peloton covering many of the moves that followed.

A constant flurry of attacks

With one climb per lap and a three-kilometre gravel section on each of the final three laps, the race continued to be active with multiple attacks flying. A trio escaped and led the race for a period, but like all other attempts they soon returned to the peloton again shortly after.

On the penultimate gravel section, Tenniglo picked her moment and launched away from the peloton but with nobody keen to follow her she headed away solo and led the race through the final 10kilometres.

It looked as though Tenniglo might have been able to hold on, dangling ahead kilometre after kilometre but after the final gravel section, her time advantage decreased and the peloton drew closer. 

Close call

With just three-kilometres remaining, it was game over for Tenniglo who completely buried herself in an attempt to hold off the chasers.

Behind the teams got into formation for a sprint finish with Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) first through the final corner only to be passed on the line by Bastionelli to steal the race win. 

Moniek Tenniglo

“It was a good race day with the team. We wanted to race aggressive and we had Grace a long time in a strong breakaway. When we where on the gravel section with one lap to go I saw a moment and gave it a try. I knew it should be hard to keep away but it was a nice try.

“Today Grace was really strong, after the bunch caught me she attacked again but in the end it became a bunch sprint. Unfortunately after our efforts non of us was there able to really help Sarah for the sprint anymore and she finished just outside the top ten.”

Grace Brown

“We are all happy with how we rode today. I think everyone really rode to their strengths and we used all our cards out there. Our plan was to be active and always present. We definitely achieved that. 

“It was nice to represent the team in the break and then I was happy to still have good energy once we were caught. Moniek was really smart with where she attacked on the second last gravel section.

“It was so nice to see her ride like that after all she gives to the team. The bunch was a little dangerous around the final corners and Roy lost a bit of position there, which was a pity because she had good legs for the sprint.”

Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden Results:

1. Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtue Cycling) 3:37:43
2. Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) ST
3. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg) ST
12. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:03

Photos courtesy of Getty Images