Lizzie Armitstead increased her Women’s World Cup lead yesterday, with her Boels-Dolmans team finishing third in the Open de Suede Team Time Trial in Sweden. The Commonwealth Road Race Champion’s team recovered from a deficit at the first time check to beat World Cup rival, Emma Johansson’s Orica-AIS outfit by 18 seconds.
The 42.5-kilometre test was won for the fourth year running by Specialized-Lululemon, with Marianne Vos’s Rabo-Liv team taking the second podium spot. The win sees the American team lay down a challenge to their rivals in the lead up to the World Team Time Trial Championships in Spain next month. The team won the Worlds in both 2012 and 2013 and hope to reclaim their title in Pontferrada on September 21st.
Specialized-Lululemon dominated the race from start to finish, clocking a lead of 50 seconds at the first split, and hammered home their advantage from there. The race was run in horrendous conditions, with heavy rain starting just minutes before the first team rolled down the start ramp in the Swedish town of Vårgårda.
The event went largely to plan for Armitstead’s team, “The win was a little bit unrealistic for us at the moment,” team manager Danny Stam told Cycling Weekly after the race. “I think we can make it better in the future. We started with a plan and the girls did a good job.”
Armitstead goes into Sunday’s Vårgårda road race with a lead of 130 points over Johansson. With only 120 points available for the win, she only needs to finish ahead of the Swedish champion to secure the World Cup and Stam is relatively confident that Armitstead can wrap the up the title.
“I think Lizzie is one of the strongest riders on this kind of circuit. I’m not saying she will win but she is good enough for top five,” he concluded.
Today’s result is also bound to assist the winning team in their search for sponsors. Both Specialized and Lululemon’s deals finish at the end of the season and the team are currently seeking part fin ace the team by a crowd funding scheme.
UCI Women’s Road World Cup 2014 – Round 7
Open de Suede Vårgårda Team Trial – Result
1. Specialized-Lululemon 52:12
2. Rabo-Liv +1:21
3. Boels-Dolmans +2:33
4. Orica-AIS +2:51
5. Bigla Cycling Team +3:54
6. Estado de Mexico-Faren +4:11
7. Team Giant-Shimano +4:19
8. Rusvelo +5:05
9. Hitec Products +5:22
10. Team Tibco-To The Top +5:45