Team Coop – Hitec Products performed really well in Sweden this week. First the team took a stage win with Mari Hole Mohr in the Tour of Uppsala and then the second place in the general classification of that UCI 2.1 race. After becoming twelfth in the team time trial in Vargarda on Saturday, the team then did very good again in the Women’s World Tour road race on Sunday. Nicole Steigenga finished 7th. On Tuesday the Tour of Scandinavia starts.
In Uppsala, Mari won her first UCI-race on Tuesday and got the leaders jersey. A day later the team worked hard to keep the jersey around her shoulders, with the hope for another good day result. Unfortunately a crash in the final kilometers made that both Mari and Ingvild didn’t have a chance anymore. Mari did however kept the lead in the GC. On the final third stage an escape of Caroline Andersson just didn’t last until the finish, after which Mari got fourth in the sprint. Behind day winner Nathalie Eklund she got second in the final classification of the Tour of Uppsala.
In Vargarda traditionally the weekend started with a team time trial, in which Team Coop – Hitec Products got 12th. Then the road race on Sunday became a hard one, in which four riders stayed ahead of a small peloton. Nicole sprinted to the 4th place of that peloton, but as day winner Marianne Vos got disqualified, she moved up to the 7th place in the end.
‘This is really cool’
Before knowing she got 7th instead of 8th, Nicole was already satisfied with her day. “I am really happy with it”, she said about the result. “I don’t do a lot of top-10’s, especially not in the World Tour, so this is really cool. The real final didn’t start before two laps of 11 kilometers before the finish. However, more and more riders got dropped from the peloton. They weren’t really pulling towards the finish, so I thought I just passed the riders and went into the last corner as second of the group. It was a long sprint and I just kept going until the finish.”
Caroline had a week of racing in her home country. In Vargarda, she and Sylvie Swinkels manged to finish in the second big group, after a race in which they both did well between the World Tour riders. “It was fun and it is really nice to race her”, Caroline said after the finish. “It is a hard race and with all the wind it got an extra hard race. It wasn’t only the climb, but also the technical part and the wind that caused that. It was full speed almost all the time.”