Team BikeExchange-Jayco will be straight back into action this weekend after a busy month of July racing in Italy and France, and for August, the team heads to Scandinavia for two very exciting races. Kicking off proceedings on Sunday will be the traditional one-day WorldTour race Vårgårda WestSweden, before the inaugural edition of the Tour of Scandinavia.
With two different courses and goals, the team line-up will change for the two events, with fast finishers Nina Kessler and Arianna Fidanza leading the charge at Sunday’s Vårgårda WestSweden along with Australia’s Jess Allen, Singaporean Chelsie Tan and the Slovenian Urška Žigart.
For the six-day stage race, Tour of Scandinavia starting the following Tuesday with a mixture of terrain, the Australian outfit bring in a more diverse team with riders coming in fresh from the Commonwealth Games. Australian’s Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Alex Manly will be joined by New Zealander Georgia Williams, plus Fidanza, Allen and Kessler who line-up in both events.
The 125.7km one-day race in Sweden follows a typical route, starting with one large 37.7km loop including three challenging gravel sections before the peloton head in for eight local laps of 11km which includes the same sharp, punchy climb as it has done for all past editions. It is often one for the fast finishers but has been seen to finish with reduced group sprints also.
The Tour of Scandinavia will last for 6 stages across Denmark, Sweden and Norway, with the race beginning in Copenhagen and finishing in Halden. The penultimate stage is the Queen stage with the 10km long climb up to the finish at Norefjell starts. It’s expected that the GC will be decided here.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up for Vårgårda WestSweden:
Jessica Allen (GBR)
Arianna Fidanza (ITA)
Nina Kessler (NED)
Chelsie Tan Wei Shi (SGP)
Urška Žigart (SLO)
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up for Tour of Scandinavia:
Jess Allen (AUS)
Arianna Fidanza (ITA)
Nina Kessler (NED)
Alex Manly (AUS)
Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
“I am really looking forward to Sweden and the Tour of Scandinavia, especially the Tour of Scandinavia as it is the first time we’ve had this race which goes through Denmark, Sweden and Norway, which is really cool. I have had a good block of training in Andorra, and I am looking forward to finishing off these last few races of the year.
We have a really strong team and Sweden really suits my characteristics as a rider, it has a bit of gravel and is quite technical, so I am looking forward to riding there and trying to have the best race that I can there.
In the stage race, there’s so many different types of stages, it could be quite windy, and it will be quite undulating, I think it will be really exciting for us all to race there and the motivation is high within the team.”
“I think my form should be good! I had a nice recovery week after the Giro. I then had a good two-week block at home in Girona. I was doing a lot of TT and Vo2 work for the Commonwealth Games, I think this type of training will also be very helpful for Tour of Scandinavia. I will target the GC here, this is a bit new for me but I’m really excited to give it a go!
Stage 5 will be the GC decider as it has a hill-top finish. I will go hard for my best result there. I will have to be focused in the finish of every stage and stay in good position as they can be technical and anything can happen.
I’m really happy with my season so far, I’ve made a step up from last year, so it’s been nice to see the improvement. We’ve all been racing so well as a team so I’m looking forward to keeping that going at seeing what we can do in Scandinavia.”
Martin Vestby – Sport Director
“For Sunday’s Vårgårda WestSweden we want to consider all different scenario and support the rider who takes their opportunity. Due to the Tour de France Femmes and Commonwealth Games, we expect teams with a different line up than normal. The race normally comes down to a reduced group sprint, but we want to explore the option of putting pressure on and have breaks covered as well. Nina Kessler is a fast finisher, and she will try to be there for the sprint.
For Tour of Scandinavia we have a really good team. We want to race aggressive without wasting energy. The field might be tired and act different to what we are used to after the Tour de France Femmes.
The courses on paper are not so hard and can easily come down to sprints, but we can expect breaks to make it to the finish as teams might struggle to control, especially on some of the local laps.
Georgia Williams will be our GC contender, while Alex Manly be our dedicated sprinter and we will support her in the sprints when it comes down to it, but also giving others sprint opportunities when suited.”
Postnord Vårgårda West Sweden Race Details:
Sunday, 7th August, Vårgårda-Vårgårda, 125km
2022 Scandinavia Tour Race Details:
Tuesday, 9th August, Stage 1: Copenhagen – Helsingor, 145km
Wednesday, 10th August, Stage 2: Orust – Strömstad, 153km
Thursday, 11th August, Stage 3: Moss – Sarpsborg, 118km
Friday, 12th August, Stage 4: Askim – Mysen, 119km
Saturday, 13th August, Stage 5: Vikersund – Norefjell, 127km
Sunday, 14th August, Stage 6: Lillestrom – Halden, 154km
Photo: Getty Sport