2015.08.25 - News reporter
The VÃ¥rgÃ¥rda World Cup came down to a reduced bunch sprint won by Jolien dâ€™Hoore (Wiggle Honda). I sprinted in for eighth place. When I line up, I race to win. Always. And Iâ€™m extra ambitious when I race at home. It should come as now surprise tat I wasnâ€™t thrilled with my result.
I left Sweden on Sunday with a very happy heart. My teammates and I might not have gotten the results we chased, but this was a winning weekend from my perspective â€“ that top step would have just been the cherry on the cake.
EIGHT REASONS VÃ…RGÃ…RDA WORLD CUP IS A WINNING WEEKEND REGARDLESS OF THE RESULT
1. Traveling to a race at home is always easier and more relaxing. Martin and I drove from Norway. The four-hour car ride passed much more quickly than driving to the airport, hopping on a plane, driving to a team hotel, and it was much more relaxing, too.
2. Not only did my family and friends come out on race day (more on that later), but I also had a chance to hang out with them in the days before the race. Since pro cyclist life often means limited hang out time, this made me extra happy.
3. I know Iâ€™m a bit bias, but I think Swedish summers are the best kind of summers. The past few years, Sweden has decided to keep our lovely summers a secret, and weâ€™ve raced in filthy conditions. This year was completely different. We had sunshine all week, and everyone could experience a true Swedish summer.
4. I take genuine joy in seeing other people fall in love with my home country, and because a lot of teams head to Sweden straight from the Ladies Tour of Norway, that meant riders had plenty of time to explore â€“ and then show off their adventures on social media. It made me really happy to read all the tweets and Facebook updates and see pictures on Instagram of my teammates and friends in the peloton that obviously showed they were enjoying their time in Sweden. Even more, I loved imagining people that havenâ€™t been to Sweden wanting to come visit because of what they were seeing.
5. While the course changes might have made the race a bit easier, the big loop is undeniably beautiful. People watching online got to see more of the â€œrealâ€ Sweden â€“ the forests, the lakes, the countryside.
6. I love hearing my name and seeing all the â€œEmmaâ€ signs out on course. The Swedish flags and all the blue and yellow decorations â€“ especially up the climb â€“ made feel especially proud to be Swedish national champion.
7. My teammate Amanda Spratt always works so hard for all of us â€“ and today her hard work earned her the most aggressive prize. It was rewarding to see her recognised for her contributions to our plan and overall objectives
8. My time in VÃ¥rgÃ¥rda ended with what has become a bit of a tradition â€“ a lunch with my family, Martinâ€™s family and my best friendâ€™s family. We eat at a pizza place right on the course. No matter how my race goes, I always look forward to this tradition â€“ and this year was no exception.
Name: Emma Karolina Johansson.
Born: 23 Sep 1983, Sollefteå, Sweden.
Team: Wiggle High5
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