For round 17 and 18 in the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the peloton travels to Sweden for the Vårgårda races. Instead of the Friday night team time trial and the road race on Sunday morning, this year sees a difference in race days. The team time trial is held on Saturday 11 August at 1pm CET, while the road race will take place on Monday 13 August in the evening.
Christine Majerus has six Vårgårda editions to her name and is looking forward to travel back to the Scandinavian country.
“There are worse places to ride your bike,” laughed Majerus “It’s a beautiful environment no doubt about that. The course changed a bit the last years as they added a bigger first lap and gravel sections which are always fun especially with rain.”
As far as the races are concerned, the Luxembourg champion has double feelings. “Winning the team time trial with the team are good memories, but we never were really lucky in the road race, so it’s kind of a mixed feeling every year.”
Boels-Dolmans takes to the start as the two-time defending winner in the team time trial. Compared to last year's line-up, only Skylar Schneider is a new name, replacing Amalie Dideriksen.
Majerus, part of the line-up in 2017 as well, only last week raced in the national outfit of the Luxembourg team, representing her country in the European road race championships. She will swap back to red, white and blue in Sweden. It has been a race-packed couple of weeks for the Boels-Dolmans riders, with only ten riders on the 2018 roster and Jip van den Bos out with injury since nationals.
“We have been really busy with racing since June so we have been trying to recover as much in between,” said Majerus. “We are going to try to find the good set-up and pace within the team in the team time trial. I don’t think we should lose too much energy comparing ourselves to others.”
For the road race, a tactic has yet to be decided.
“In general, we have a few cards in stock of course,” said Majerus, who added that the team tactics will be discussed in the pre-race meeting. “We got riders for early breakaways, riders for climbing breakaways and some fast legs for a final sprint, so I guess we are okay with every scenario possible.”
The races and how to follow
The team time trial is held on Saturday 11 August. The first team sets off at 1.00pm CET for the 42.5-kilometer undulating course. There is a short uphill section before reaching the finish line.
There is plenty of time to recover as the road race is held on Monday 13 August, starting at 5.45pm CET. The race is 141 kilometers in length, starting with four laps on a short circuit, followed by a long lap of 55 kilometers including four gravel sectors, to be finished by another four laps on the 11-kilometer circuit.
Both races are live to watch on Eurosport 1 in Denmark, Norway and Finland, on Eurosport 2 in the rest of Europe or on the Eurosport Player (paid subscription). Watch via Flobikes.com in the USA and Canada.
Boels-Dolmans for the Vårgårda team time trial:
Anna van der Breggen
Boels-Dolmans for the Vårgårda road race:
Anna van der Breggen