Van Vleuten and Mitchelton-SCOTT hoping for a consecutive victory at the Boels Ladies TourSun 26 Aug 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT return to the Boels Ladies Tour with a stellar six-rider squad which includes the defending champion of the event, world time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten.
The team boasts a wealth of strength and depth, with options for both stage victories and the overall with two-time Giro-Rosa stage winner Jolien D’hoore, OVO Energy women’s stage winner Sarah Roy, former Australian champion Gracie Elvin and Giro-Rosa stage winner Amanda Spratt.
The squad are also pleased to welcome back double New Zealand champion Georgia Williams who makes her return to racing after a heavy training crash in early July which saw her miss out on the mid-season races.
Like last year’s edition, the race kicks off with a lung busting short prologue event close to the home town of van Vleuten. A mixture of road stages follow with flat days and a hilly stage in Limburg, before a final and potentially decisive 18.5km individual time trial.
For many riders it's one of the final preparation races leading into the UCI road world championships later next month and therefore the level of competition is set to be at its highest.
Annemiek van Vleuten
“Racing on home grounds is special and last Wednesday racing in Veenendaal-Veenendaal and winning made me realise how cool it is to race in your training area. It makes me even more excited for this year's edition of the Boels Ladies Tour to do a prologue in my rainbow jersey just 15km from where I live in Arnhem.
“The second day is a hard stage in Nijmegen on an interesting hilly course, also in my training area and this stage contains more altitude metres compared to the´Queen stage' in Limburg on the Saturday.
“In the two intermediate stages I expect sprints which is also cool for our team, we have a lot of lead-out strength and sprint talent so we have contenders for these stages too.
“The stage race ends with an individual time trial, which is also nice because almost all contenders of the worlds TT will be there. I don't really need racing to prepare myself for an important event, but it is nice to have a good race with the team before worlds.
“I’m very happy to have Georgia back with us racing. She was also part of last year’s winning team in the Boels Ladies Tour. For Georgia it is also nice to join us for racing as preparation into the world champs."
“We are starting with a really strong team for the race and after winning the overall last year, we head into the tour this year with lot of confidence. Everyone is building towards the world championships now so the vibe in the team is great and we are looking forward to some fast and aggressive racing.
“I think we have good options for every stage in the tour which is exciting, I am excited to support my teammates as much as possible during the flatter days and then see how the hillier stages go, the stage in Limburg will definitely suit me. I think we can realistically look for both stage wins and the overall win.”
Previously at the Boels Ladies Tour
Last year Mitchelton-SCOTT and van Vleuten dominated the race with the 35-year-old leading from day one, winning both the timed events to secure the overall tour victory.
Tuesday, 28 Aug: Stage 1, Arnhem to Arnhem, 3.3km prologue
Wednesday, 29 Aug: Stage 2, Nijmegen to Nijmegen, 135km
Thursday, 30 Aug: Stage 3, Gennep to Gennep, 126km
Friday, 31 Aug: Stage 4, Stramproy to Weert, 132km
Saturday, 1 Aug: Stage 5, Sittard to Sittard, 159km
Sunday, 2 Aug: Stage 6, Roosendaal ITT, 18.5km
Photos courtesy Getty Images