Amongst the biggest names in cycling, Team Coop – Hitec Products has shown itself in the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. In the hard four days stage race, Ingvild Gaskjenn (photo) impressed with a 13th and 15th place in the last two stages. Josie Nelson made her debut for the team in the four days stage race, while for Ane Iversen it was her first World Tour race.
“The first day was a big disappointment”, Ingvild looks back after the last stags. “The legs were a bit off. Maybe because I was sick before I came here, or from the heat. So, I am glad that it felt better the next days and that I could get in a couple of top-15 results. I Really wanted to sneak into the top-10, but hopefully it is not too far away. It were hot days, with a lot of altitude meters and nice days with the team once again. Now I am looking forward to the Europeans!”
For Ane a top result wasn’t in it, but racing her first race at World Tour level, that wasn’t to expect. “The Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta began with a mountain stage”, she tells about the race. “We started at the top of a ski center and the stage consisted of both descent and long climbs. This is my first World Tour race and it was very exciting to start with the best in the world.”
Strong team spirit
Ane is a good time trialist, but the 7.4 kilometers long climbing time trial on the second day was something different. “The body reacted to both the heat and the height, but it was fun to compete with the best. Stage 3 was a new mountain stage and after that it all ended with a hilly stage with the finish in Santiago de Compostela. It has been very educational to ride for the last four days, and it has been so fun to watch Ingvild do so good! The team spirit is strong and I am looking forward to continuing to support my team.”
Photo: Erik Knutsen