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Kirsten Wild second in Postnord Vårgårda Road Race in hectic sprint finale

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Kirsten Wild was second in the Postcard Vårgårda Road Race, in the town of Vårgårda, Western Sweden, in a somewhat chaotic bunch sprint. The Dutch sprinter was well position at the front of the much-reduced peloton, as it slowed to take the final corner with just 300 metres to go, but a last-minute acceleration from Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) saw the former World Champion escaped to take the victory.

Behind Vos, Wild was able to hold off 2017 race winner, Finnish Champion Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) to claim the second step on the podium.

“It was pretty hectic the whole race, with the gravel sections, which we were lucky with the good weather,” Wild said afterwards. “And I think we had a really nice race, and a nice atmosphere.

“Of course, at the end, I’m a little bit disappointed, because of course I wanted to go for the win. But Marianne is such a strong rider that you can’t be disappointed to be second behind her. I had such a strong help from my team, so that’s really nice.”

The 141km race featured several sections of gravel road as the peloton took in the hilly forests around Vårgårda. Wild was able to stay safe throughout, along with several of her Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling teammates, and was comfortably in the first part of the peloton as the action started in the closing kilometres.

“I didn’t have a real strategy,” Wild explained. “I tried to start in front, and keep my position, since I thought it might be dangerous with some gaps in the peloton. We managed to stay in front, so that was okay.”

Despite several attacks, in both the gravel sections and the final shorter, 11km laps – with many featuring the blue and yellow jersey of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin – nothing was able to stick until UCI Women’s WorldTour leader Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) got away with 22km to go.

With several sprinters still in the race, however, the Dutch rider was steadily pulled back, thanks largely to the work carried out by Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot. She was caught on the top of the final climb and the pace was kept high in the final kilometres to prevent any further breakaways.

“It was a bit the same again,” Wild said of her strategy in the final laps. “Staying in front, and trying to keep in contact with the first riders, and trust my team.

“I really trusted them, and they brought me to the final, and I managed to be second.”

Result
1. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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