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News

Olympic Champion Katie Archibald joins Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling

Ben Atkins : 16th October 2017 9:45 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling is delighted to announce that World and Olympic Champion Katie Archibald will be joining the team in 2018. The 23-year-old Scot was a member of Great Britain’s World Record Breaking Team Pursuit in Rio, Brazil, last summer – alongside fellow Wiggle High5 signing Elinor Barker –  and added her second Rainbow Jersey in the World Championship Omnium in Hong Kong earlier this year.

“I’ve been following Katie’s career for the past 4 – 5 years and she has always been an athlete I’ve desired to work with!” said Team founder, owner and manager, Rochelle Gilmore. “As her strength on the road has been developing year by year, her increasing desire to achieve road racing goals has been something Wiggle High5 really wanted to be a part of.

“My interest to bring Katie into the Wiggle High5 family was to introduce a new fresh and motivated personally and mentality into the team – one of a true Champion,” she added. “Wiggle High5 will fully, 100% support Katie’s track ambitions in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020 while providing her the opportunity to use our road race program to strengthen her preparation.

“While already an Olympic Champion on the track, Katie is still an unknown talent on the road, we’ve seen glimpses of what she’s capable of and we look forward to providing her with the ‘opportunity’ to recognise her full potential on the road… in the future, when and if her heart desires.”

As well as her considerable prowess on the track, Katie also has several road race triumphs to her name, including the National Circuit Race Championship – where she beat Barker in a tight duel – and the Silver and Bronze Medals in the National Road Race and Time Trial Championships respectively.

“I’ve joined Wiggle High5 to take the next step in my professional career,” Archibald said. “2017 was my first season of racing a UCI calendar on the road and in 2018 I’ll now be able to race as part of the Women’s WorldTour. With my previous team (Team WNT Pro Cycling) I was often race leader though our racing ambitions were small.

“With this move I expect to be playing a support role to bigger goals as part of one of the highest ranked UCI teams. One day I hope to again be a race leader myself and plan to learn as much as possible from the hugely successful roster Wiggle High5 boasts in 2018.”

As a member of Great Britain’s Track Squad, Archibald already has two World titles, to add to her Olympic Gold Medial, despite being just 23 years old. As a Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling rider she will be hoping to develop her road career, as well as concentrating on the Track World Championships, the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018, as well as the long-term target of the next Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.

“I have two major personal goals for 2018,” Archibald explained. “The first is the track world championships in March, at Apeldoorn velodrome, where I hope to defend my Omnium title. Following this, in April, I hope to tackle both the track and road events at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

“For the former of these I’ll be in a GB jersey and the latter a Scotland jersey. My targets and hopes for selection in a Wiggle High5 jersey include Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, Tour de Yorkshire and The Women’s Tour.”

Jo Taylor, Head of Brand at Wiggle said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Katie, an Olympic gold medalist to the Wiggle High5 team for the 2018 season. 

“We’re sure Katie will transfer her success on the track to the road with a strong, supportive Wiggle team behind her. Katie’s speed will certainly be a fantastic asset as we look forward to a successful and busy campaign next year.”

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Audrey Cordon-Ragot wins Chrono des Nations Time Trial

Ben Atkins : 15th October 2017 7:41 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot has won the prestigious Chrono des Nations Individual Time Trial in Les Herbiers, in the Department of La Vendée, western France. The French Time trial Champion completed the 26.4km course in a time of 35 minutes, 47 seconds, to beat Belgian TT Champion Ann-Sophie Duyck (Team Drops) by 11 seconds, and former British TT Champion Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT) by 23.

“It was a good day. I didn’t expect to win today,” Cordon-Ragot said. “I more expected to be on the podium, but winning in front of [Olga] Zabelinskaya and Duyck was a great victory, so I’m really happy.

“[Duyck’s] been really good in the time trials the whole season,” Cordon-Ragot continued. “She was on the podium at the European Championships and, of course, she was the leader today. I was three seconds behind her after 10km, and then I took 14 seconds from her in the last part of the TT.

“So I had a really strong end of the TT, and I think that’s how I won today. I was able to push really hard in the last few kilometres.”

As a native and resident of nearby Brittany, Cordon-Ragot was almost racing on her local roads. As the recently crowned Breton Champion, and wearing the blue, white and red French flag as National Champion, she was assured a lot of support from the roadside fans.

“It’s almost home, it’s really not that far,” she smiled. “I have a part of my family living 30km from here. It’s really special to come here, because also the French public is 100% for me, for the National Champ.

“The last time I won here was ten years ago, when I was a junior, and was also wearing the national kit. It’s pretty special, ten years later, with the national jersey, coming here and winning. It’s pretty special.”

Victory in the Chrono des Nations marks an end to Cordon-Ragot’s 2017 season, which has been her best to date in the biggest races.

“It’s finally the end of my season, I was really looking forward to that!” she laughed. “I was really tired, but I’ve been training short rides, but really intense because I wanted to prepare for this race and I think I did well.

“Now I’m pretty happy to finish, and I’m also really motivated to start 2018!”

Result
1. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Team Drops)
3. Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT)

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Emilia Fahlin and Julie Leth renew with Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling

Ben Atkins : 9th October 2017 8:57 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling is delighted to announce that both Emilia Fahlin and Julie Leth have renewed their contracts with the team for 2018. The former Swedish and Danish Champions respectively have been an indispensable part of the team in 2017, both on and off the bike, and have been central to so much of its success.

“It’s such a pleasure to see Emilia working her way back to her best,” said Team founder, owner and manager, Rochelle Gilmore. “I remember her days riding for HighRoad/HTC where she appeared to be one of the strongest domestiques and lead-out riders in the world.

“Now, with Wiggle High5, Emilia is starting to believe in her abilities as a winner. Emilia is rapidly developing into a team leader while still being very valuable to her team as a helper and mentor. I believe in Emilia’s abilities perhaps a little more than she does and hope to see her reach some nice targets in 2018.”

Fahlin was part of the Wiggle Honda team in 2014 and 2015, before spending the 2016 season with Alé-Cipollini. She resumed her place in the team this year, in 2017, supporting her teammates in races across all terrains.

“I’m really happy to have extended to stay with Wiggle High5 for another year!” Fahlin said 
“It’s a great thing knowing the management believes in you and value your job and efforts and want to keep building on it for another year, that they see more potential in you and want to keep working to develop further.

“That is always a good thing, and stability is so important and so also the fact to keep working on equipment I know, like, and am used to,” she added. “I’m super excited to see what we can achieve together next year and the memories we will create!”

An unfortunate illness in the middle of this year saw Emilia forced to sit out both her National Championships and the Giro d’Italia. Despite this, however, the Swede was able to return stronger in the later races of the season and capped it with a career-best ninth place in the World Championship Road Race in Bergen, Norway.

“I feel I’m on the right track, I had a good second half of the season which I’m looking forward to build on for next year,” she confirmed. “Finishing the season off with a good ride at the World Champs gave me a lot of motivation and confidence for upcoming season and I can’t wait to get stuck in to the preparation already!”

Julie Leth joined Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling at the start of 2017 and made an immediate impression on her teammates with her hard work in the races of the Australian summer season. Throughout the year the Dane has worked tirelessly for the team’s success and, like Fahlin, has been central to so much of its success.

“I had a good first season with Wiggle, where I feel like I’ve developed both personally and professionally, and I am really happy and excited to continue this development in such a professional environment,” she said. “I’ve loved being on the road with the team. We always manage to have tons of fun, but still being professional and focussed as soon as we’re on the start line.

“I am looking forward to welcoming the new girls in the team, but also to continue working with the girls staying.”

“We love Julie so much, what a pleasure to have her in the team again,” Gilmore smiled. “Julie has the positive personality every team needs, someone who always remains upbeat, appreciates what she gets, or what goes her way… Without sweating the small stuff.

“Generally, Julie’s attitude and personality reflects on all members of the team on and off the bike,” Gilmore added. “Julie is someone we’d love to put on the road all year with every team however in 2018 we will offer Julie some small targets where she can step out of her domestique role and play her own game! I look forward to seeing Julie take a win in 2018.”

Jo Taylor, Head of Brand at Wiggle said: “Emilia is a brilliant team player and popular member of the squad, so we’re delighted to welcome her back for next season.

“A former National Champion, team members are often indebted to Emilia’s selflessness and hard work out on the road, making her an indispensable member of Wiggle High5.

“We’re delighted to see Julie return to Wiggle High5 for 2018. Julie has made a strong start in her first year in a Wiggle jersey, putting in some huge efforts to support her teammates in tough races.

“I’m sure 2018 will bring Julie and the team further successes in the upcoming season.”

 

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Lisa Brennauer joins Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling in 2018

Ben Atkins : 2nd October 2017 8:57 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling is both delighted and excited to announce that Lisa Brennauer will be joining the team in 2018. The 29-year-old German was the World Time Trial Champion in 2014, and has been a member of the World Team Time Trial Championship squad on three occasions, but has also taken numerous road race victories on all terrains; from hilly races to full-speed bunch sprints.

“The signing of Lisa has brought a lot of happiness into our team,” said Team founder, owner and manager, Rochelle Gilmore. “Lisa is an athlete who all our current athletes and staff really wanted in the team!

“We have been trying to sign Lisa for many years so to finally welcome her to Wiggle High5 is a real pleasure. Lisa is one of very few athletes who can offer a team everything, she’s the complete package; a super nice person, very experienced, a leader on and off the bike…. and she’s a time trial specialist who can also climb well and sprint with the best.

“Lisa will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team which she is willing to share – in order to help get the maximum potential out of each and every one of our athletes,” Gilmore added. “As a team, we really value the assets Lisa will bring to the team.

“We’re all very excited about 2018, we look forward to working closely with Lisa and providing her with an environment where she will feel at home, relaxed and excited about what she can potentially achieve with Wiggle High5.”

Brennauer’s time trial prowess has seen her take several overall stage race victories, including the Energiewacht Tour, the Aviva Women’s Tour, Boels Rental Ladies Tour and the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt. A powerful sprint, however, has also seen her take bunch sprint victories in many of those races, and saw her take a Silver Medal in the 2014 World Championship Road Race, having already taken the Time Trial Rainbow Jersey.

Lisa has also won the Road Race and Time Trial Championship of Germany on two occasions each.

“I’m looking forward to be part of the Team Wiggle High5 next year,” Brennauer said. “The change is an important step in my career. I’m looking forward to it, it’s about new influences that I expect a lot from. I’m looking forward to work with the team and my new teammates, most of whom I know already. I’m happy that i have the opportunity for a change to something new and different to make a next step forward.

“This change is also about new responsibilities,” she added. “I’m in the middle of my career as a cyclist and could gain some experience already. I`m looking forward to share this experience and knowledge with young riders and maybe give good input to form the races.

“I think its too early to talk about the 2018 goals already in detail,” Brennauer continued. “One goal for me is definitely to make Wiggle High5 as successful as possible together as a team. That`s why I’m part of the team, thats why I’m a cyclist.”

“As a cyclist I love to show the beauty of our sport to people and make them excited about it,” she concluded. “Being on my bike, training and racing and of course winning races is what I love. Women`s cycling is on a really good way and its going to be exciting to see how our sport is going to develop in the future. Also Rochelle Gilmore and her team have already been doing a lot for Women`s cycling. This is great to see and I’m looking forward to become a part of it.”

Jo Taylor, Head of Brand at Wiggle said: “It’s a very warm welcome for Lisa, a rider with bags of experience who we’re sure will be a really valuable addition to the team, in a season that looks set to be action-packed.

“Lisa is a world-class time triallist with a skill set that will no doubt help propel the team on to great things in 2018.”

 

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Elisa Longo Borghini and Audrey Cordon-Ragot renew with Wiggle High5

Ben Atkins : 25th September 2017 8:54 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling is delighted to confirm that both Elisa Longo Borghini and Audrey Cordon-Ragot will continue with the team in 2018. The two riders, who are sometimes jokingly referred to as “the twins” due to their close friendship and similar style on the bike, have both been part of the team since 2015, where they have achieved some of the best results of their careers.

“It has been such a pleasure to work with Elisa and observe the way she has developed into one of the world’s strongest Classics riders,” said Team founder, owner and manager, Rochelle Gilmore. “There are certain athletes I have worked with over the years who allow me to feel a real part of their careers, through all of the ups and the downs, wins and losses, setbacks and successes – Elisa is one of those athletes.

“Wiggle High5 has witnessed Elisa’s development both on and off the bike during the past couple of years and whilst she has already won a number of big classics, we’re very confident that we’re yet to see her reach her maximum potential,” Gilmore added. “She is special, in so many ways…. it’s her ability to remain level headed, and grounded during a run of amazing success – which makes her the phenomenal athlete she is.

“Elisa comes from a family full of athletic ability, experience, knowledge and success – which I believe is a massive attribute. She is surrounded by true professionals who love her unconditionally and can offer her valuable advice and support in order to become the best athlete (and person) she can possibly be.

“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to support Elisa, and be a part of her life and career again in 2018,” Gilmore concluded. “Together, we’re determined to achieve some exciting specific victories next year, whilst re-creating the special family style atmosphere we had this year, with a number of new talents joining Wiggle High5 in 2018.”

Since joining Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling Longo Borghini has taken victory in some of the biggest races in the sport, including the Tour of Flanders, Route de France and the Strade Bianche. She is a three-time Italian National Time Trial Champion, and this year was able to take the coveted tricolore in the Road Race too.

In addition to her great victories, Elisa has taken podium finishes in some of the sport’s biggest events, including a Bronze Medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016, third place in La Course by Le Tour de France, and a best-ever General Classification second place in the Giro d’Italia in 2017.

“I’m happy to stay with the team and I’m looking forward to having another season with this good group of girls and staff,” Longo Borghini said. “I have really enjoyed the past three seasons, when I was able to take some beautiful victories, and I hope that we will be able to win lots more in the future.

“I hope to find a good connection with the new riders who have signed for 2018,” she added.

Cordon-Ragot too has seen her career go from strength to strength as a member of the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team. The French rider is also a three-time National Time Trial Champion, and this power has been put to good use in the service of her teammates.

“Wow, Audrey’s development this year has been, well, simply overwhelming!” Giolmore exclaimed. “Audrey hit the climbing form of her life at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in the UK this year – winning the mountains classification – and there has been no stopping her since! Audrey once again took the French TT title this year however the highlight of 2017 for Audrey Cordon Ragot was her performances in the World Championship ITT & RR. During the RR in Bergen, Audrey proved what she is capable of when she’s not restricted by her role as a domestique…. There was no rider’s strength that she couldn’t match – she rode with (and attacked) the best of the best at this year’s World Championships.

“I’d personally like to achieve (together with our DS’s and support staff) that Audrey is given (takes and makes) opportunities to WIN big races in 2018 with strong support. I feel she is ready to be a leader at Wiggle High5 and she most certainly deserves the support of her teammates – in order to take some sweet victories in 2018!

“Among Audrey’s many talents and qualities, she’s a team’s dream…” Gilmore smiled. “She brings good morale, laughter, clear motives and more specifically – so much value as a captain on the road. In saying this, her TOP quality for a pro cycling team is her ability to proactively thank her team’s sponsors by ensuring she utilises her profile and victories by promoting the brands we choose to use, ensuring increased sales and return on investment for our valued partners. She has a unique trait of; Living in the moment while investing in her future. Very intelligent lady. Wiggle High5 values Audrey’s qualities on and off the bike – very much.”

Audrey has been a constant protagonist in some of the World’s biggest races, and was part of what was the winning breakaway in the recent World Championship Road Race in Bergen, Norway. This constant attacking spirit saw her take the Queen of the Mountains Classification in this year’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

“I’m happy to continue my adventure with Wiggle High5 in 2018, I’ve been progressing so much on the sides of big riders and competent staff members and I had no desire to change of environment,” Cordon-Ragot said.

“The atmosphere in the team is so good, we have a special relation between us which helps to go over every kind of situations, good or not, and it’s a real chance.

“I hope to continue to progress next year, and to be more and more a rider on who you can bet for the victory,” she added. “I’m looking forward to meet my new teammates and to start a new season full of good moments.”

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Elinor Barker Returns To Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling In 2018!

Ben Atkins : 18th September 2017 7:00 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling is delighted to announce that Elinor Barker will rejoin the team in 2018. The 23-year-old World and Olympic Champion, from Cardiff, Wales, was part of the Wiggle Honda team from its inception in 2013, before moving on two years later to concentrate on qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

Team founder, owner and manager, Rochelle Gilmore commented, “As our first confirmed signed athlete for 2018 I am extremely proud and excited to be welcoming Elinor back to the team which she helped create back in 2013, along with Laura Trott, Jo Rowsell and Dani King. Our British registered team experienced a rapid and overwhelming growth of fan support during our first years – Elinor Barker was one of the World Class athletes who trusted a new organisation to support her career.

“I’m honoured and humbled to have her, now as an Olympic Champion, choosing to rejoin Wiggle High5 in order to further support her future aspirations.”

As a member of the all-conquering Great Britain Team Pursuit squad, Elinor won Gold in Rio, to add to her World Championship Rainbow Jerseys taken in the event in 2013 and 2014. The 2017 season saw her change focus, and track events, resulting in a third World Title in the Points Race in Hong Kong, as well as two Silver Medals in the Scratch Race and Madison.

“I’m so excited about rejoining Wiggle High5 for 2018!” Barker exclaimed. “I stepped back from the road scene a little in 2015 to focus on track and getting myself in the Olympic team.

“It’s been fun to watch the team grow from the outside and become one of the biggest women’s teams in the world and I feel so lucky to be coming back to the team in such a good place.”

The 2017 season has also seen Barker take on more of a road focus, with the World Championship Time Trial in Bergen, Norway, this week as a target. A long, solo attack almost won her the Great Britain national road race title in June, then she took her first ever UCI road race victory in the BeNe Ladies Tour in August.

In September, Barker followed this up with two stage wins and the overall victory in the Rás na mBan, in Ireland, before travelling to Norway with the Great Britain team.

While Elinor will continue to race on the track in 2018, with the eventual target of the next Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020, she will continue to expand her horizons on the road.

“2018 for me is set to be pretty busy,” she confirmed. “Between my winter track programme and the World champs, Commies and Euros through the spring and summer, I plan to get in as much racing as possible in with Wiggle High5.

“I’m excited to step up to World Tour level and to start ticking off some bucket-list races.”

Jo Taylor, Head of Brand Marketing at Wiggle says “We’re delighted to welcome Olympic Champion, Elinor Barker to Wiggle High5 as a fantastic addition to the team. She’s joining an exciting rider line up for the 2018 season and we look forward to supporting & cheering her on throughout next year’s hectic race schedule.

“We also wish Elinor good luck from us all at Wiggle, as she embarks on her next challenge at the UCI World Championships in both the Individual Time Trial and Road Race.”

 

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Jolien D’hoore wins the Madrid Challenge for the second straight time

Ben Atkins : 10th September 2017 6:49 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore has won her second consecutive edition of the Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta, on the streets of the centre of the Spanish capital, as the 87km race finished in a bunch sprint. The Belgian Champion overtook American Coryn Rivera within sight of the line, to win the race by a wheel, after both riders caught up with an early jump by French rider Roxane Fournier (FDJ-Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Futuroscope).

“Sunweb and Cipollini had  full lead out train, and I was sitting behind Sunweb, on Coryn’s wheel,” D’hoore said. “There was a gap just after the last corner, but I think it was still 350 or 400 to go, so it was too far to go. So I stayed in Coryn’s wheel, and then Roxane went on the left, and then I got a bit boxed in I guess.

“But then there was a gap with maybe 200 to go, I think, but still it was fine.”

As the event’s 2016 winner there was a lot of expectation on D’hoore’s shoulders to repeat that spectacular victory. Despite this, however, the Belgian Champion went into the race without putting too much pressure on herself.

“It’s fine, I think it was fine,” she said. “I just want to win every race, or I try to win every race. It doesn’t matter if I won last year or not, I just wanted to go for it again. I didn’t feel like there was too much pressure; it was okay.

“In the beginning of the race I had Julie [Leth], who stayed with me,” D’hoore explained. “We stayed at the back of the bunch, and we could save a lot of energy. Julie kept one pace, and didn’t brake or accelerate too much, so I could really save a lot of energy. Then towards the end of the race I tried to move up a bit.

“The other girls tried to go in breakaways, so I didn’t really have to do anything. Then on the last lap Emilia [Fahlin] stayed with me, and then she brought me into a perfect position. So yeah, a good day!”

The race, based on 15 laps of the 5.8km circuit to be used by the final stage of the men’s Vuelta a España later on, saw numerous attacks, but none that was able to establish what could have been a race-winning lead. The closest thing to the main break of the day happened when 15 riders got clear just before the halfway point, with former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini looking after the interests of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling.

The group was only to stay ahead of the bunch for less than ten kilometres, however, before being closed down. There were several more attempts to get away, featuring Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Italian Champion Elisa Longo Borghini and Emilia Fahlin, but the peloton refused to let anybody else get clear.

A four-rider group did escape in the penultimate lap, but was closed down again well before the finish.

Fahlin brought D’hoore to the front of the peloton inside the final lap, and the Belgian Champion was able to finish off a perfect race for the black and orange team and her twelfth victory of 2017.

“It’s been a great season for me,” D’hoore smiled. “My form has been really good from the beginning of the season, and I’m happy with it, but I think the World Championships are going to be a bit hard for me. I’m not going as one of the favourites, I’ll just try to hang on and then I will see.”

Result
1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb)
3. Roxane Fournier (FDJ-Nouvelle-Aquitaine-Futuroscope)
..
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

Photo Credit: Velofocus

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Jolien D’hoore “feeling really good” for defence of Madrid Challenge Title

Ben Atkins : 9th September 2017 8:00 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore will start Sunday’s Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, on the streets of central Madrid, wearing number one as last year’s race winner. The 87km race, on the street circuit around the Spanish capital to be used by the final stage of the men’s Vuelta a España hours later, is almost certain to finish in a bunch sprint, where the Belgian Champion will be accompanied by fellow sprinters Giorgia Bronzini and Nettie Edmondson.

“We have a strong team, I think,” D’hoore said. “We have Gio and Nettie, who are also really fast. Emilia [Fahlin] is coming; Elisa [Longo Borghini], and Julie [Leth]. Yeah, we have a lot of good riders, and I think we can do really well in the race on Sunday.”

Despite the flat appearance of the race’s 5.6km circuit and the race’s relatively short distance, compared to most other races in the Women’s WorldTour, the Madrid Challenge is far from an easy race, D’hoore says. The nervous nature of the speeding peloton, as well as the numerous slow corners in every lap, will make the race tough.

“It’s just a crit, but it’s a really hard crit,” D’hoore smiled. “It’s also not super flat; it’s a bit up and down, and a lot of standing starts, so you need to be switched on the whole time; the whole race. So it’s quite tiring, but it’s nice.

“I like it.”

D’hoore travels to Spain, having taken two morale-boosting victories in the last three weeks, in the Tour of Norway and this week’s Lotto Belgium Tour. She was just unable to hold on to the overall race lead on Friday’s tough final stage, over several Flemish climbs and in typical Flemish weather, but her form is exactly where she wants it to be in the approach to the World Championships, in Bergen, Norway, at the end of the month.

“Since this week I’m feeling really good, and the plan was not to actually be great yet, this week,” D’hoore explained. “My form still needs to come, so it’s a good sign that I can have some results when I’m not on top form.

“Also today I was feeling good, so hopefully we can show it again on Sunday,” she added.

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Jolien D’hoore (Belgium), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Julie Leth (Denmark), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)

 

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Jolien D’hoore takes back Lotto Belgium Tour lead with Stage Two Victory

Ben Atkins : 7th September 2017 7:48 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore returned to the top step of the podium, and returned herself to the Gold Race Leader’s Jersey, with a sprint victory at the end of the second stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour, in Herselt, near Antwerp. The Belgian Champion, dressed in the black and yellow jersey of the race’s Best Belgian Rider, was the fastest at the end of the 106km stage, after the peloton caught a four-rider breakaway inside the final kilometre.

Stage 1 winner Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) was second, with Coryn Rivera (United States) in third place, meaning that the same three riders have occupied the podium on all three days of the race so far.

“Today I tried to stay calm and save as much energy as possible for tomorrow’s stage to Geraardsbergen,” D’hoore said afterwards. “I would have been happy for Lotte Kopecky [Lotto-Soudal, who was part of the four-rider break] if she had won the stage.

“In the finale WM3 started chasing, they obviously wanted to aim for victory with Marianne Vos,” D’hoore continued. “I positioned myself on the wheel of Marianne and didn’t let go anymore.

“It was a hectic sprint, because the break was only caught with about three hundred metres to go. At the end Marianne missed one rider in front of her to pull the sprint and that was perfect for me.”

There were several attempts to escape the peloton in the early kilometres of the stage, with Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling riders involved in some groups, while policing the others. Finally, when the four riders did get away, the peloton was happy to let them go and they were able to build a lead of almost two minutes.

Steadily the breakaway’s lead was reduced, however, until they were finally captured in the approach to the finishing straight.

Vos launched her sprint early, but D’hoore was able to stick with the former World and Olympic Champion before passing her in the final metres. Having worked hard throughout the stage to protect D’hoore’s interests, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini was able to launch her own sprint and finished in sixth place.

Time bonuses on the line mean that D’hoore takes back the Gold Jersey from Vos, with both athletes divided on overall time by the Belgian Champion’s fractions-of-a-second winning margin in Tuesday’s Prologue.

“As I told earlier this week, I came to the Lotto Belgium Tour to prepare for the World Championships,” D’hoore said. “I had not at all expected to win twice. I can now wear the leader’s jersey for the last stage and of course I will defend it.

“Tomorrow will be about surviving, it won’t be easy to take the overall victory,” she added, referring to the tough final stage, which will tackle several of the famous climbs of the Tour of Flanders before finishing halfway up the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen.

“Rain is forecast and that will make the race even harder. It will be necessary to ride at the front when reaching the bottom of the Muur.”

Result
1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling)
3. Coryn Rivera (United States)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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Jolien D’hoore second in Lotto Belgium Tour Stage One Breakaway Sprint

Ben Atkins : 6th September 2017 7:34 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore has followed up her Prologue victory in the 2017 Lotto Belgium Tour with second place in the opening road stage, in Meerbeke, Ninove, on the former finishing straight of the Tour of Flanders. Wearing the Gold Jersey of race leader, the Belgian Champion was beaten only by former World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling), who had taken second in the opening Prologue, at the head of a 13-rider group that pulled clear of the peloton in the closing kilometres.

Coryn Rivera (United States) finished third in a repeat of her own Prologue performance.

“It was close, but I think the strongest rider has won today, so fair enough,” D’hoore conceded.

“It was quite a nervous race and you had to be at the front the whole time, but the team was up there the whole time,” she added. “They were really good at positioning, and they kept me in front.”

On the cobbles of Veldstraat, with around 40km to go, D’hoore increased the pace and pulled an eleven rider group clear, which also included Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini. They quickly caught the remaining two riders of an early breakaway and the winning move was formed.

Bronzini was involved in a late escape with Megan Guarnier (United States) and Vos’ teammate Anouska Koster, but the three riders were caught just before the final kilometre.

“We had two main cobbled sections, and the second time on the cobbles to first group went, so we were away,” D’hoore explained. “We had me and Gio in it, and we still had like 35km to go then.

“They played the game a bit, because there were four riders of WM3 and four riders of USA, so me and Gio had to chase and play the game. But we did really well together; Gio was up there with two other riders until 2km to go, and then we got them back and it was a sprint.”

Time bonuses on the line meant that Vos took over the race lead, but D’hoore will start stage two in the Black Jersey of Best Belgian Rider.

“Tomorrow is supposed to be the easiest stage of the race,” D’hoore said. “It’s flattish, but you never know, a breakaway can still go. Racing in Belgium you always need to be focussed and aggressive, and you always have to ride in front.

“So yeah, we go again for a stage win tomorrow. We’ll try again.”

Result
1. Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling)

2. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Coryn Rivera (United States)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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