Team Time Trial World Cup, Sweden
The Jayco-AIS women’s road team were in Sweden at the weekend contesting the UCI Women’s World Cup. As guest Directeur Sportif, I took the reins of the team for Martin Barras and here is the report below…
16th August 2013
On Tuesday Pat (mad mechanic), Margo (super soigneur), Magic Marty and I departed the Aussie base in Varese, Italy and headed north to Sweden. Thursday (3 days later), we arrived in beautiful sunny Vargarda for the World Cup Teams Time Trial! Our team of athletes also arrived yesterday on a flight into Sweden direct from Italy.
This didn’t give us much time for reconnaissance of the 42.5km Teams Time Trial (TTT) course, especially given that some teams have been here a week training over the course. Nonetheless, with the race starting at 5:30pm we had time in the morning to practice some of the technical sections, get a general feel of the wind, the undulations, the best lines to take and to help formulate a race plan.
The course was going to test both strength and technical ability of each of the teams with open sweeping roads exposed to the wind for the first 30km followed by a 10km rather technical loop to finish. Wet roads would’ve definitely proved an extra challenge and it wasn’t looking promising when the beautiful sunny day we enjoyed yesterday had turned to pouring rain an hour before the start! However, miraculously the rain ceased and the roads were mainly dry for the whole of the racing!
Our TTT team of six riders included Grace Sulzberger, Amy Cure, Emily Roper, Chloe McConville, Ash Ankudinoff and Taryn Heather. Our plan was to use up 2 riders (Ash & Emily) in the first half of the race on the longer straights and be left with 4 riders to scoot through the more technical & ‘hillier’ part. Emily is still feeling some of the effects from a crash in Route de France and Ash is on empty after a successful jam‐packed few months of racing in Europe!
We started out strong, had good speed, looked smooth and took good lines. At about the half way mark we lost our first rider Chloe, who wasn’t having the best day but provided all she had for the team; and a few kms later we lost Ash.
The 4 girls continued with the strong effort and as they approached the finishing circuit, Em started to drop. The finishing time was taken off the 4th rider so it was integral the 4 girls finished together. Grace, Taz and Amy did an amazing job of supporting Em and at the same time, Em pulled out an awe‐inspiring effort to finish off!
After clocking in 4th fastest overall at both the 16km and 32km time checks, we finished a credible 7th in what was the girls first ever World Cup Race!
The current World Champions, Specialized‐Lululemon, took the win in and look in good form for the World Champs in a month’s time in Florence! Rabobank with Mariane Vos and Orica‐AIS rounded out the podium.
We are not yet done in Sweden … we are looking forward to the 132km World Cup Road Race on Sunday!