Van Vleuten and Spratt back in action at the Ladies Tour of NorwayTue 14 Aug 2018
2018 Giro-Rosa winner Annemiek van Vleuten and Giro-Rosa stage winner Amanda Spratt return to racing with Mitchelton-SCOTT this week at the four-day Ladies Tour of Norway.
The two Mitchelton-SCOTT leaders join the rest of the team in the north of Europe after the recent Vargarda Worldtour race and with them bring valuable strength, especially the opening team time trial.
The four-day race kicks off with a seperate 24km TTT stand alone event before the three day tour starts the following day with undulating road stages often finishing with local laps. The first road stage is one of the hilliest stages in the race's history, and the longest stage comes on the final day 154km in length.
With the undulating terrain the races can be quite unpredictable and Mitchelton-SCOTT have options with riders for both breakaways and sprints.
“I had a nice break after the Giro-Rosa and La Course and by the time I got back on the bike I was feeling ready and motivated, that is always the best way to start again both physically and mentally.
“Ride London was a great hit-out for me and since then I have been building up the training again and now I’m really looking forward to being back with the team and racing again in Norway.
“I’m not sure how the legs will be, but I am ready to suffer and get some race intensity again and do whatever I can to help the team get some great results.
I’m looking forward to the TTT, as a team we already showed in the Giro-Rosa that we are developing a lot in this discipline so this is another chance to challenges ourselves and aim for more. The girls did a great job on Sweden with only five riders so we can go with a lot of motivation and confidence into the TTT in Norway.
“The last time I did the race was in 2015 when I came third on GC so I have good memories. It’s such a beautiful area and well organised race. There are no huge climbs but it’s always rolling up and down and with some technical finishing loops it can become quite unpredictable.
“I like that style of racing and I also think it really suits our team so I’m looking forward to playing the game with good numbers in the finals.”
Annemiek van Vleuten
"I am really keen to race again after three weeks at altitude, I didn’t have much time at home after La course because I really believe I need three weeks at altitude to have the benefits from it mentally and physically. It was a good time after a busy period to switch off mentally and physically. I had a good time so it was good for my mind and my legs.
“I look forward to joining the team again, it is a race thats not a goal for me so I will go there as a support rider. We decided with the directors to support the team and it is a nice way to race together with the team and the other girls can have a good at some stages.
“For the team time trial I look forward to going as hard as we can, and especially after how we did the TTT so well at the Giro-Rosa, it inspired me to go again. I think we showed that we showed we can maybe win in Norway, so I’m looking forward to starting the race with that and it is also super good preparation for the world championships team time trial.
“I have done a lot of TT training already for the world championships so I used to riding on the TT bike and I looking forward to riding my beautiful custom SCOTT plasma again.”
Martin Vestby - Sport director
"We are going to have a pretty strong team with Spratty and Annemiek coming back in. We have cards to play and it's good to have these two strong and fresh riders coming in.
"The race is a bit different to the last years, with them taking out the prologue and adding in the team time trial as an individual event."
Previously at the Ladies Tour of Norway
Last year Gracie Elvin sprinted to second place on stage one and in 2015 Amanda Spratt finished in thrid place overall.
Thursday 16 Aug: Aremaek to Halden, TTT 24.3km
Friday, 17 Aug: Stage 1, Rakkestad to Mysen, 127.7km
Saturday, 18 Aug: Stage 2, Fredrikstad to Sarpsborg, 127.7km
Sunday, 19 Aug: Stage 3, Svinesund - Halden, 154km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images