CANYON//SRAM Racing will tomorrow return to stage racing when the team starts the four-day stage race, Ladies Tour of Norway on Thursday 17 August. It will be the first appearance in CANYON//SRAM colours for young German stagiaire rider Christa Riffel when she lines up with Tiffany Cromwell, Barbara Guarischi, Mieke Kröger, Alexis Ryan and Leah Thorvilson.
Kröger summarises the tour. “The opening day is a 3km prologue. It’s flat and fast. The terrain of the next three stages is undulating but there are no major climbs. So I expect it to be hard racing. We will see what the prologue brings for our team and then look at the situation. If there’s a chance for the overall then of course we will go for it.”
Australian rider Tiffany Cromwell returns to racing after a four-week hiatus. “I’ve done a really good training block these last weeks at home with a week up in the mountains too. I feel like my form is good, I’m motivated and feeling fresh and ready to get back to racing.”
Like Kröger, Cromwell expects an unpredictable and open tour. “It’s a newer tour on the calendar and I’ve only done it once before but I have good memories. It’s well organised, beautiful stages and a good open tour with lots of opportunities for different types of riders.”
With just over five weeks to the season highlight, UCI road world championships in Norway, Bergen, the team will use the Ladies Tour of Norway as an important part of its preparation.
“We’re getting to the business end of the season, so I think it will be good, hard racing. I’m excited to see what we can do as a team, especially how our new stagiaire Christa will fit into the team. Me personally, I’m aiming for a strong tour and targeting a stage victory,” said Cromwell.
The 3.4km prologue in Halden city centre starts at 17:00 tomorrow. A daily live broadcast can be found here and followed on Twitter with #UCIWWT and #LTON17.