One more year, Sweden will host two UCI Women’s World Tour races. It will be Vårgårda again where the world’s top cyclists will compete in order to get points for the WWT general classification, which is currently led by Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans), 59 points ahead of UCI Ranking leader Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott).
As usual, in Vårgårda we will watch (not really watch, there’s no live TV) the only team time trial in the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar, which will be analyzed as the most reliable reference before the World Championships TTT.
What happened last year?
Boels-Dolmans were once again unbeatable, although their time in the first split was not the best. Cervélo-Bigla were the big surprise in this race, being leaders in the intermediate point… but they couldn’t maintain the pace during the whole team time trial and finally they were overpassed by Boels-Dolmans, 36 seconds faster than the Swiss team. The third place was for Rabobank-Liv, at 1:16 from DLT.
Course and favorites
Once again, 42.5 kilometers will be the distance that the teams will have to complete. Of course, this is a very long team time trial, so the references we have from the rest of the season may not be as accurate as they should. It is not a completely flat course, but actually there aren’t too difficult sections, so the speed will be high and more than one team will get to the finish line with their six riders. The hardest climb will be at seven kilometers from the finish line.
So far, world champions Boels-Dolmans have won 100 % of the team time trials they’ve competed at this year (that’s 2/2). They did it at the Healthy Ageing Tour (19.3 km) and again in Giro Rosa (11.5 km), but none of those TTT’s are comparable to Vårgårda’s because of their length. Probably Team Sunweb will be DLT’s biggest competitor, although other teams such as Canyon//SRAM, Cervélo-Bigla, Orica-Scott or Wiggle-High5 will be also fighting for podium spots.