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Nettie Edmondson: “We’re all just hoping to enjoy Guangxi and to go out with a bang”

Ben Atkins : 20th October 2018 7:12 am : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling will line up for it’s last ever road race at the Tour of Guangxi on Sunday, on a much-changed course from last year’s first edition. The black and orange team will be fielding some of its biggest stars, with former Italian Champion Elisa Longo Borghini, French time trial champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Australian track stars Nettie Edmondson and Amy Cure, as well as British sisters Lucy and Grace Garner.

“This is my first time in this race,” Edmondson said. “Last year was the first edition, and it was very flat, so for the second year they’ve added two hills. So it’s going to be a very unpredictable race, because it’s flat for about 85km, and then there’s a Cat 3 climb and a Cat 2 climb straight afterwards.

“It’s going to be interesting to see where everyone’s at, because some of the girls will have had a break after Worlds, and then coming back in, and others will have had an earlier break and will be targeting this,” the Australian explained. “It’s going to be interesting to see if the girls that  did the Worlds have held on to their form or not, whereas the sprinters are going to be hoping they can hold on over those pinchers.

“Whereas the climbers are going to be trying to break it up, like the Mitchelton-Scott team in particular has definitely sent over a bit of a climbing team,” she added.

With Longo Borghini and Cordon-Ragot expected to match the best riders over the course’s two tough climbs, and sprinters Edmondson and Lucy Garner able to compete with the fastest in the World, the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team should be as competitive as ever in it’s final race.

“As for us, we’ve got all options covered,” Edmondson said. “We’ve got hill climbers in Elisa and Audrey, we’ve got some sprinters here, and we’ve got some all rounders here. So I think we’ll have most of the options covered, but we’re just hoping to have a really good race.

“It’s the last race of the Women’s WorldTour, and it’s also the last Wiggle High5 race ever,” she added. “It’s been a big few years of ups and downs with this team, and we’re all just hoping to have some fun, to enjoy it, and to go out with a bang!”

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for the Tour of Guangxi
Audrey Cordon-Ragot
(France), Amy Cure (Australia), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Grace Garner(Great Britain), Lucy Garner (Great Britain), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)

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Emilia Fahlin finishes a best-ever fourth place in World Championships Road Race

Ben Atkins : 29th September 2018 7:26 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin finished an incredible fourth in today’s World Championship Elite Women’s Road Race in Innsbruck, Austria. Clad in the yellow and blue of her National Team, the Swedish Champion joined a breakaway group with around 50km to go, as the peloton approached the second of three ascents of the Iglis climb, and managed to stay clear of the peloton as the race-winning move was made by the Netherlands’ Anna van der Breggen.

“It’s been a really quite unreal day today!” Fahlin exclaimed. “I had such a good day on the bike, and I’ve really been enjoying the atmosphere that was on the climb. That was something we never really experience. It was just a vey good day, and I just really surprised myself with the result.

“I never thought I could be here, at this really, really tough World Championships, and grab a fourth place in the end!”

Fahlin was in the break with Polish Champion Malgorzata Jasinska, Italy’s Elena Pirrone, the Netherlands’ Ellen van Dijk and Australia’s Amanda Spratt, one of the pre-race favourites. They were caught and passed by an attack from van der Breggen mid way up the climb, then joined by 2009 World Champion Tatiana Guderzo of Italy, who replaced the dropped Pirrone, Canadian Karol-Ann Canuel and former Wiggle High5 rider Amy Pieters, who took the place of compatriot van Dijk.

“I hardly survived the first time up the circuit climb, and I was just a bit off the back in the last couple of km, but I didn’t give up and worked really hard to get back on the downhill,” Fahlin explained. “Finally just making it back I saw some opportunities moving and opening, with the attacks going on the left.

“It was mostly me and Jasinska who really did the work. The Italian sat on because we had Spratt in the break. Spratt did some work and also Ellen, but it was mostly Malga and me pulling.

“Then eventually we had Anna van der Breggen flying past and only Spratt who could try to follow. You had no idea at this moment what was going on behind you, and I thought the longer a head start I had on this climb the better. It was my only chance to be a step ahead today.”

Spratt followed van der Breggen, while a late attack from Guderzo saw the Italian ride to the bronze medal. Fahlin, Canuel and Jasinska stayed clear of the peloton, however, and the Swedish champion easily won the sprint for fourth.

“I really dug deep, and died a hundred times today,” Fahlin laughed. “I’ve been suffering a lot, and emptying everything I had left. I’ve definitely got no regrets for the day, and I came out with a way nicer result than I ever could have imagined.

“It was pretty cool racing, even at one point for the medals, but I emptied myself really so much before, and I have no regrets doing it because I still feel like fourth place is way better than I could hope for!”

Fahlin’s incredible fourth place in the World Championships comes at the end of a fantastic period of racing for the Swedish Champion, which has included several podium places in the Ladies’ Tour of Norway and the Lotto Belgium Tour.

“I normally like the second half of the season, and I normally come through quite strong,” Fahlin explained. “So it’s a pity to hang up the wheels already and have the season finish! I’ve had a year that I didn’t expect to be so good, and that’s a really nice thing to feel that I’ve got another level out of myself!

“I still feel like I’ve got a lot to improve and that’s really motivating for the next season!”

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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Aggressive Emilia Fahlin just misses out on final Lotto Belgium Tour podium

Ben Atkins : 7th September 2018 6:54 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin just missed out on the final podium of the Lotto Belgium Tour, despite an aggressive display in the third stage in Geraardsbergen. The Swedish Champion finished third on the day, behind Liane Lippert of Germany and French Champion Aude Biannic (Movistar Team), but was just unable to take enough time out of Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal) in the general classification to push the Belgian out of third place.

“I’m a bit sad and disappointed, obviously, I would have liked to have finished it off better,” Fahlin said of her third place on the stage and fourth overall. “I had hopes that maybe we could have come out on top, but it was just simply too stronger riders today.

“I think it was another good day of bike racing,” she added. “Racing around the Muur in Geraardsbergen is always iconic racing in itself. It was a hard day, quite short with a lot of climbing at the end. It was a tough last day.”

As in the previous two stages, Fahlin was protected by her Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling teammates throughout the technical opening loop of the 72.8km stage, and onto the Geraardsbergen finishing circuit. Fahlin tried to break the group of leaders on the penultimate climb of the Muur, but was just unable to go with Lippert and Biannic as they escaped on the following lap.

“The girls really rode beyond their limits on such a course today, they really, really tried and worked super hard,” Fahlin said. “Those two girls rode away the last time up the Muur, and I was just behind with Kopecky, [Alison] Jackson (Tibco-SVB) and [Malgorzata] Jasinska (Movistar) – who didn’t work because she had Aude in the front.

“We just couldn’t get properly rotating straight away,” the Swedish Champion explained. “It would have been good to have a couple more in the chase to get the momentum, but they were gone. They were really, really strong today and that’s it.”

Fahlin’s third place meant that she was the only rider to finish on the podium of every stage of the 2018 Lotto Belgium Tour. Although the final podium, and a stage victory just eluded the Swedish Champion, it is a continuation of excellent recent results that also saw her finish second in the UCI Women’s WorldTour Tour of Norway.

“I’m still pleased to get another podium, although I would like to change all the podiums for just one win if I could,” she laughed. “But it’s nice to be consistent and get some podiums, which is not very often, so it’s been super-nice this last month of racing to actually get a lot of podium results and have your mindset on actually racing for yourself.

“It’s challenging, it’s a different mindset for me. I’ve enjoyed it, but it also comes with a bit of pressure and being nervous. But I had such a nice group around me to keep it really relaxed and calm this week.”

Fahlin’s best results for many years come after her having taken the Swedish Championship for the third time. She admits that racing in the blue and yellow cross jersey has added a little extra motivation to the already good form that she has at this stage of the season.

“It’s been really lifting me, having the champion’s jersey!” she agreed. “I’ve had a stronger season all year, and I’ve really managed to come around in the second half. I always seem to be able to go well in the second half, but this is better than any other year and it’s cool to find myself in the top end of the racing again!”

1. Liane Lippert (Germany)
2. Aude Biannic (Movistar Team)
3. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

Final General Classification
1. Liane Lippert (Germany)
2. Aude Biannic (Movistar Team)
3. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal)
4. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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Emilia Fahlin sprints to second place in Lotto Belgium Tour Stage two

Ben Atkins : 6th September 2018 6:05 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin went one better than the previous day in the second stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour, in Herselt, in the province of Antwerp. The Swedish Champion was the fastest sprinter at the head of the peloton as it came within metres of catching late breakaway rider Jeanne Korevaar (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) who had escaped in the final kilometre. Fahlin beat stage one winner Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal) in the sprint, however, and closes in on the Belgian rider’s overall lead.

“One improvement on yesterday’s placing,” Fahlin laughed. “Almost… Almost there, but not quite.

“They pulled a little sneaky one there,” explained Fahlin, of Korevaar’s late escape. “They got the team on the front, and it was quite a technical last couple of kilometres with a few small roads and some really sharp corners. They were on the front with the team and in one corner they gave her a gap. It was so close to the finish that no other teams were really organised on the front, and she managed to get the gap.

“She rode strong to hold it off, but we were coming – breathing down her neck – in the sprint.”

The 110km stage was based on seven laps of a flat, but technical 15.7km circuit based on the town of Herselt. Despite rain, which arrived just before the race began an fell on the first two laps, Fahlin was able to stay safe throughout and was able to position herself well into the finale.

“I got on Lotte Kopecky’s wheel, because I know she’s a good one to follow,” Fahlin said. “She’s going super well, and she won yesterday, so I thought if there’s one wheel to pick then it’s hers. I could come out of her wheel and just get around her. I came close to Jeanne, who won the stage on the line.

“I think it was an exciting final, if you could have watched it,” she added. “Which was not possible, sadly… It was a hectic final, on small roads, and you needed to be in a good position coming into the last few kilometres.”

As the protected rider on the stage, following her consistent performances in Scandinavia in August and second place sprint on stage one, Fahlin was looked after by her Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling teammates throughout.

“All the girls did a really, really good job today,” she said. “They’ve been really encouraging to me, and they’ve always been there, keeping me out of the wind. I had a flat tyre, and they made sure I could move back up.

“I feel like I’ve had a full team committed to me, so it’s been really cool, and really nice,” Fahlin smiled. “We’ve ridden so well, finding each other in the bunch, and it’s been a really good time so far.”

Time bonuses on the line mean that Fahlin moves up to third place overall, and now trails Kopecky by just ten seconds. The Lotto Belgium Tour will be decided in its third, and toughest stage, which will feature three ascents of the iconic Muur-Kapelmuur, and finish on the uphill cobbles of Geraardsbergen.

“Tomorrow’s a really hard day. I don’t know how many times we have to go up the Muur, so I’d better go home and study the course a bit! I think tomorrow will be really different from the first few days, and it’s going to be really tough.

“It’s going to be where the GC really goes down.”

1. Jeanne Korevaar (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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Emilia Fahlin third in Lotto Belgium Tour Stage one bunch sprint

Ben Atkins : 5th September 2018 6:27 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin finished in third place at the end of the first stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour, between Moorslede and Dadizele, as the race finished in a bunch sprint. The Swedish Champion began her sprint a long way from the line at the ned of the 119km stage, but was unable to hold off Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal) and Monique van der Ree (Waowdeals Pro Cycling), who finished first and second respectively.

“It was a very fast day. It was a very Belgian type of race!” Fahlin said afterwards. “There was no really big climb, and there were some cobbles, but the lap wasn’t really difficult.

“There was a breakaway from about halfway through, and Movistar didn’t have anybody in it so we let them work a little bit because they had the jersey,” the Swedish Champion explained. “Then, when we were closing in with 30km to go, we said we would put a couple of girls in to help close it. In the end I think we were one of the forces to help them bring it back.”

The team’s plan had been originally to lead out former Scratch Race World Champion Rachele Barbieri for the sprint but, unfortunately, the Italian was a victim of a crash early in the stage.

“We wanted to get Rachele up for the sprint, but unfortunately she went down in a crash at the beginning of the race,” Fahlin confirmed. “She made it up all right, and managed to get back on, so we’re happy she’s in one piece.

“It was pretty eventful, even if it didn’t look it on paper,” Fahlin continued. “It wasn’t too hard of a day – there weren’t any sections to make the race super-hard – and I think we expected a bunch sprint. We didn’t quite come out with a win, but it got quite messy, especially as it’s such a mixed bunch here. We found each other quite late, but we found each other really well.”

Approaching the finish, Fahlin managed to position herself near the front of the peloton but, with Barbieri unable to utilise her own sprint, the Swedish Champion was forced to go for herself.

“I had Rachele on my wheel and started sprinting super-early, bit then I had to fight, fight, fight to the line and I could get third,” she said. “It wasn’t a perfect run in for the final, but today we managed to move and stay together, and I think it was really cool to race together today.”

Third place on the line meant that Fahlin earned a four-second time bonus toward the general classification. Although Kopecky moved into the race lead, the Swedish Champion rises one place to ninth overall, and is well positioned for the remaining two stages.

“Obviously we had an eye on the GC as well, and I didn’t want to lose time,” Fahlin smiled. “But the last day will be super-hard and I’ll see how I feel.”

1. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal)
2. Monique van der Ree (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
3. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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Emilia Fahlin finishes Tour of Norway second overall after third on final stage

Ben Atkins : 19th August 2018 5:29 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin finished the Ladies Tour of Norway in second place overall, after taking third place at the end of the third and final stage between Svinesund and Halden. The Swedish champion stayed close to the front for the entire 154km stage, but was unable to beat former World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) to her third stage victory, or US Champion Cory Rivera (Team Sunweb) on the narrow and technical finishing straight.

“It’s really cool,” Fahlin said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but it’s pretty incredible when I see that the riders that are here. It’s a WorldTour race, and second in the GC is pretty cool. I don’t think I expected this of myself, coming here. I was hoping to have a good weekend [in Vårgårda, Sweden] and maybe having a crack on one of the stages here, but I could never picture being up for the GC, and to be on the podium in every stage.

“That’s pretty unreal actually!”

The 154km stage was as aggressive as the previous two, with several breakaways escaping the peloton as it crossed the border into neighbouring Sweden, and then back into Norway. On the three laps of the 5.2km Halden finishing circuit the attacks continued, from many of the general classification riders, but Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini was alive to every single one.

“Elisa was really, really good to have with me in the final laps,” Fahlin said. “She was following all the moves, and making sure nothing was going, and I could just try and follow the wheels I needed and stay in contention really.

“It was so lucky to have her with me in the final, and at the end she said ‘I had so much fun!’” Fahlin laughed. “I’m not sure I enjoyed it in the moment as much as she did! I think I felt a bit more tense, but it was awesome to have the support of the girls. Yesterday Kirsten did an amazing job, and today Elisa really was there for me.

“It’s really cool to have these great riders, that you also look up to, and this time they have the confidence in you. It’s pretty cool.”

Fahlin’s performance in the Ladies Tour of Norway saw her finish on the podium every day as she took the opportunity to race for herself, with her teammates playing the supporting role that she is more used to. Having ridden strongly in the Postnord Vårgårda Road Race on Monday, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling was confident that the Swedish Champion would be able to respond to the extra pressure.

“For me it’s been a new situation,” she said. “I’m not used to being in that position, and it’s different having the pressure. It’s different having the people counting on you, and coming to ask how you are, and looking after you. To be there for the final it’s definitely a new situation, and it’s definitely been enjoyable, and a bit scary too!

“I’ve had a great time here, but it was nervous today for sure!”

Result Stage 3
1. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb)
3. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

Final General Classification
1. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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Emilia Fahlin sprints to second place again in Tour of Norway Stage 2

Ben Atkins : 18th August 2018 5:56 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin sprinted to her second straight second place in the Ladies Tour of Norway, between Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg. The Swedish Champion powered her way past Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) on the uphill finishing straight, but was just unable to catch former World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) before the line.

“Yesterday I was so close, and obviously today she was ahead of me,” Fahlin said. “I’m happy I could come around for second, and get Kasia in the end, because they had a nice little gap – and Kasia gave Marianne a nice lead out – so I just tried to close the gap to them.

“But they were going, and then Marianne decided to start the sprint, and I wasn’t in the wheel already and she was too hard to get. But she’s super strong at the moment, and she was the strongest up the climb today in the final.

“I think I was a couple of wheels back, and it was a super long finish,” Fahlin added. “From the last corner it was all uphill, and it was actually a hard little climb and it was really, really windy! You wanted to not be in the wind, but everybody was starting their sprint and it was a real power finish today.”

The 127.7km stage was run under heavy rain and in strong winds. Due to a prevailing headwind for much of the course, the peloton stayed largely together until it reached the four rolling, 6.7km finishing circuits around Sarpsborg, where the attacks began. Several breakaway groups formed, and all were marked by Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s former Italian Champion Elisa Longo Borghini, but none was able to open a meaningful gap.

“We still had Elisa in the GC, because we were both in the group yesterday, so it was super good that she could cover these groups,” Fahlin said. “If one of these groups had gone it would still have been good for her as well. I wasn’t feeling brilliant on the circuit, so it was good that she could be up there.”

As the finish line approached, however, it was Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild that brought Fahlin to the head of the peloton, where she would be able to launch her own sprint for the second day in succession.

“Kirsten put me in the absolute best position, she did an amazing job. I’m still buzzing from what she did today,” the Swedish Champion laughed. “Already in the intermediate sprint she put me up there. Without her I couldn’t have done that sprint, and also for the final she convinced me to go for it, because I was struggling!

“I was hanging on for dear life in the circuit,” Fahlin added. “It was cold and nasty, and she just did an amazing job to bring me up to the best position. She went around the whole bunch. It was so strung out and she just went around everyone – on the outside – with me in the wheel. Without her today I wouldn’t have got the result today.

“I owe a lot to her today, but it’s pretty cool,” she added. “It’s amazing when your teammates believe in you, and want you to try for yourself.”

1. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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Emilia Fahlin sprints to a close second place in Tour of Norway Stage 1

Ben Atkins : 17th August 2018 7:14 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin was just centimetres from victory in the first stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway, between Rakkestad and Mysen, as it finished in a sprint from a 30-strong elite group of riders. The Swedish Champion was just unable to pass former World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) on the uphill finishing straight, but finished well clear of third place, US Champion Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb).

“It was really close in the end,” Fahlin said. “It’s a bit disappointing, but at the same time I’m super happy to be up there, and to be able to challenge her. I think I was the only person who could today, which is pretty cool!

“I didn’t expect to have such a good sprint, but coming as close as it was on the line, and seeing on the pictures how close it was, it hurts a little bit…”

Although Fahlin was just unable to overcome multiple World Champion Vos on the line, the Swedish Champion left a number of fast-finishing riders in her wake.

“It’s a good group of sprinters there, so it’s quite nice to beat them, and put a gap into them,” she smiled. “It’s really nice, so I’ll take confidence out of that for sure. Marianne is super-fast, so that’s not an easy one to get, but it was nice to at least be there and make her sweat a bit!”

The 127.7km stage followed a rolling course that wound its way around the Østfold county in the very south-eastern corner of Norway. Road conditions, as well as the weather, made for an aggressive race, with the peloton splitting into several part. The leading group was just 30-strong as it approached the finish, with an attack from Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans) almost doing enough to stay away to take the victory.

“It was really windy today, and quite rolling,” Fahlin explained. “There were not big climbs, but you look down and you have quite a few altitude metres. Today, when we hit the only QOM, it was actually crosswind coming into it beforehand, so it made it a really important part. I think it kept being hard after the QOM, with the sprint coming up as well, and some narrow sections, plus climbs after. That’s where the race blew up.

“I was with Elisa [Longo Borghini], left in the front group,” she added. “Then towards the end there were attacks going and it was a little bit of a ‘play-the-game’. Other teams had more numbers, but we were a little bit lucky that there were a few other teams.

“There were a couple of riders up the front, but not together, which was good for us as well with other teams interested to chase it.”

With Canuel up the road, as well as Rivera’s teammate Floortje Mackaij, the chase in the front group lacked cohesion for some time. Mackaij was pulled back with some kilometres to race, but the Canadian rider almost made it to the finish and was only caught in the finishing straight.

“It was really tight in the end because she had a big gap coming into the circuit,” said Fahlin. “She held off really strongly, and it wasn’t far to the finish once we hit the circuit, it was only 12km, so it was touch and go. But you have to be ready anyway because, even if she holds off, it’s still for good placings.”

Fahlin’s second place in the opening stage of the Ladies Tour of Norway follows her excellent performance in the Postnord Vårgårda UCI Women’s WorldTour race in her native Sweden. As recently re-crowned Swedish Champion Fahlin has been relishing the opportunity to show off her blue and yellow cross jersey, but also finds the style of racing suits her very well.

“I like these races a lot, so I enjoy August and the races in Scandinavia,” Fahlin smiled. “It suits me a bit with this up and down. I like this type of racing, so I’ve had an eye on this period of the season!

“It’s tough racing here every day here,” she added. “You never know what’s going to happen, which direction the road’s going to take, so you always have to be on the front. Hopefully we’ll be up there again [tomorrow] trying something out. It’s two more tough days, so we want to be up there and see if we can get some more good results!”

1. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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

Ben Atkins : 13th August 2018 7:51 pm : News

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.”

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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Emilia Fahlin “as always, super excited for the Swedish round of the WWT!”

Ben Atkins : 10th August 2018 12:24 pm : News

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emilia Fahlin will once again lead the black and orange team as it takes on the next two UCI Women’s WorldTour races in her native Sweden. The Postnord Vårgårda Team Time Trial and Road Race will unusually be run on Saturday and Monday, due to the proximity of the European Championships, and provide the 29-year-old with her first opportunity to show her blue and yellow champion’s jersey on her home roads.

“I’m, as always, super excited for the Swedish round of the WWT!” Fahlin, who took an emotional victory in the Road Race, in 2016, said. “It’s definitely one of my absolute favourite weekends in all the year, not just because it’s extremely cool to race on home soil with lots of support, also the course is one of my favourites too!”

Saturday’s Team Time Trial will be a 42.5km will be based on a rolling out-and-back route between Vårgårda and Heerljunga, with a small finishing loop. The Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team will include newly-crowned European Champions Kirsten Wild, who was part of the team that won the event in 2009 and 2010, and Lisa Brennauer, who won in 2013 and 2014, as well as being a Team Time Trial World Champion for three years running, between 2013 and 2015.

“The TTT is always a good test,” Fahlin said. “Since we don’t have much practice yet this year in this event it will be good to do a proper long TTT run and see how we go and take some good feedback from this for upcoming ones! And it’s indeed a good warm up and hit out for Monday’s road race, which has basically a bit of everything in it with gravel sections, technical parts in town and a small climb in the circuit.”

The Team Time Trial squad will also include French Champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who came close to a medal in Wednesday’s European Championship Time Trial, and Australian Nettie Edmondson, who has recovered from the concussion incurred in a crash on the track in June. The team will be completed by another European Champion in Scot Katie Archibald.

Multiple World Champion Amy Cure will replace Archibald in Monday’s Road Race, in an otherwise unchanged team, which boasts two former winners in Wild and Fahlin.

“It will be a tough but fun day that I’m looking forward a lot to,” Fahlin said. “And even more so racing in the Swedish jersey will be even more special of course!”

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden Team Time Trial
Katie Archibald
(Great Britain), Lisa Brennauer (Germany), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) and Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden Road Race
Lisa Brennauer (Germany), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Amy Cure (Australia), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) and Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)

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