Race Preview: UCI World Tour Postnord Vårgårda
Shannon Malseed signing in at the team's last race, the Tour of Scotland.
Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank is in Sweden for the next UCI World Tour event: the Postnord Vårgårda Team Time Trial (TTT), held on Saturday, August 17 in Vårgårda, West Sweden. The Road Race follows on Sunday, August 18.
Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank’s roster for Postnord Vårgårda will be: Sharlotte Lucas (NZL), Alison Jackson (CAN), Shannon Malseed (AUS) and guest rider Leah Dixon (GBR).
Despite six riders currently sidelined by injury, Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank has demonstrated outstanding results, including victories at BC Superweek and at the inaugural Tour of Scotland. The team is now heading into a big block of August races, including Vårgårda, the SRT Gravel Race, the Tour of Norway, the Colorado Cycling Classic and the Grand Prix de Plouay.
Held in West Sweden, the Postnord Vårgårda TTT course will be 36km — six kilometers shorter than last year’s race — and covers undulating terrain, starting and finishing in Vårgårda with a turn-around point in Herrljunga.
“Starting with a team of four out of six riders will be difficult for the team on Saturday,” said Team Founder Linda Jackson. “We’ve had an unprecedented string of injuries and illnesses; we lost two riders to the Prudential RideLondon crash at 200 meters to go (Kendall Ryan with a concussion and Nina Kessler with a broken collarbone). Then in Scotland we lost Rozanne Slik with a serious gash to her finger that required surgery. It’s unfortunate as we are very excited about this upcoming block of racing. But I know the riders will ride their hearts out and do the best that they can.”
The 15th edition of the Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda WestSweden Road Race kicks off the next day and is likely to be a race of attrition. The first long lap of the race, 66.7km, features five gravel sections ranging from 2.7km to 6.3km and challenging, rolling terrain. Riders will then head into three shorter laps of 11km, with a 1km ascent of Hägrungabakken each lap. Finally, riders will face three 15.3km finishing laps that will include three more ascents of the Hägrungabakken climb, with the addition of the 3.1km Landa gravel sector.
The last time through the gravel will be less than 3km from the finish. Each of the climbs and gravel sections will whittle away the peloton, and provide opportunities for a dynamic, exciting race that will favor strong and technically-savvy riders.
How to Follow Postnord Vårgårda:
Team Time Trial Saturday, August 17, 3pm CET (6am PST) Location: West Sweden Distance: 36km TTT
Road Race Sunday, August 18, 11am CET (2am PST) Location: West Sweden Distance: 145.3km Road Race with 8 gravel sections
Eurosport 1 (Scandinavia) Eurosport 2 (Europe) Eurosport Player (Asia) www.flobikes.com (USA & Canada)