Double opportunities for Mitchelton-SCOTT women in Vargarda WestSweden

Tue 7 Aug 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT women head north to Vårgårda WestSweden for the next two rounds of the Women's WorldTour series this week, as they look to maximise the two opportunities on offer with a team time trial and road race event.

This year the Australian outfit have made the world championship team time trial high on their list of goals, and therefore the TTT in Sweden is an important one, providing another valuable opportunity to practice the discipline and iron out the creases.

A few days later the riders will tackle the road race event and after two stage wins at the Giro-Rosa, Jolien D'hoore will be a clear sprint option for the team if it comes down to it, however with the course's unpredictable nature, the in-form squad are ready to be opportunistic and race aggressively for any outcome.

The two races

The opening event, the 17th round of the Women's WorldTour is a lenghty 42.5km team time trial on wide and fast roads. After their close second place at the recent Giro-Rosa TTT, Mitchelton-SCOTT are looking to learn from their mistakes and continue to progress in the event.

The road race also takes place in the city of Vårgårda, as the riders begin with four local laps of 11km before heading out to complete one long lap of 53km which includes four gravel sections. 

Each gravel section ranges between two and four kilometres in length and could cause splits in the group before the riders head back to the local circuit to complete four more laps. 

The climb used on each local lap is the same each year and is short in distance but with a slight drag after on heavy roads, the relentlessness becomes a wearing down process which often causes significant splits.

The Team

Jessica Allen – (AUS 24) 
Jenelle Crooks - (AUS 23) Only RR*
Jolien D´Hoore - (BEL 27) 
Gracie Elvin - (AUS 29) 
Lucy Kennedy - (AUS 29) Only TTT*
Alexandra Manly - (AUS 22) 
Sarah Roy - (AUS 32) 

After crashing out of the Giro-Rosa last month, Lucy Kennedy rejoins the team in Sweden, bringing her horsepower to the team time trial event. Kennedy will only race the TTT event as Jenelle Crooks comes in fresh for the road race.

Gracie Elvin

"We are coming into the last couple of months of the season and our main team goal now is working towards the world champsionships team time trial. There aren’t many opportunities throughout the season to race a TTT so any chance to practice in a race situation is very valuable. The TTT in Sweden is always an important race because of the distance.

"The TTT event at the Giro-Rosa was great for our confidence but it was only a short distance, so it will be great for us to start doing longer ones to iron out our skills and strengths as a team.

"I am also looking forward to the road race in Sweden because it can definitely be a race for the opportunists like myself. I’m hoping for a hard and aggressive race as I thrive in that kind of situation and my form is still quite good since the Giro-Rosa."

Martin Vestby - Sport director

"The TTT in Vårgårda has been a tradition for the women's peloton and one of the important lead-ups for the TTT World Championship. This year we have targeted the World Championships TTT and it will be a good opportunity to test our strengths and adjust skills. We did a good TTT in the Giro-Rosa and will continiue to build on what we executed there."

"For the road race we have seen over the past years that it can turn out in many senarios. There has been smaller breakaways winning and also big bunch sprints. We have a strong team at the start with different skills that can handle any sencario. We will grab the opportunities that come."

Previously in Vargarda WestSweden

In 2013 former team rider Emma Johansson finished second in the event for the Australian outfit. In 2015 Jolien D'hoore and in 2014 Annemiek van Vleuten both won the event whist riding for different teams. 

Race details:

Saturday, 8th August: Team time trial, Vårgårda, 42.5km
Monday, 13th August: Road Race, Vårgårda, 141km 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images