Wiggle Honda signs Worlds medallist Linda Villumsen
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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Wiggle Honda signs Worlds medallist Linda Villumsen

by Ben Atkins at 5:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Danish-born New Zealander to return to racing after post-Olympic break

linda villumsenWiggle Honda has announced the signing of multiple Worlds medallist Linda Villumsen, who is set to return to the top level of cycling following a post-Olympic break. The Danish-born New Zealander rode her best season to date in 2012, riding for Orica-AIS, and finished the season as number nine in the International Cycling Union (UCI) rankings. At the end of the year the Australian team announced that the 27-year-old was retiring from the sport, but she was in fact simply taking a break after the pressure of the Olympic season.

“I had a very good 2012 season, but after the four-year Olympic cycle I just felt I needed to put my energies into a few other projects before returning to the pro women's cycling,” Villumsen explained.

“In the meantime I have been keeping up with training, however,” she continued. “Marco Pinotti [of WorldTour team BMC Racing], who coaches me, has done a great effort making an alternative race free training program and I just can't wait to join the Wiggle Honda team later on this year. Hopefully the transition back in the peloton will go smoothly but I am really confident in this team and that both riders and staff have build up a very good team environment for me to join in a few months.”

Villumsen will step in as Wiggle Honda’s top-ranked rider, and will add her considerable experience of racing at the highest level of the sport for many years. 2012 saw her win the overall Giro del Trentino, finish third in la Flèche Wallonne, as well as taking individual time trial bronze and team time trial silver - as part of Orica-AIS - in the World championships in Limburg, Netherlands.

“The team has a good balance of experienced riders - with Rochelle Gilmore who is Commonwealth Games Champion and Giorgia Bronzini, a double World Champion - as well as a lot of young talent and and young super stars from the track,” Villumsen said. “I really believe it is a real good combination of riders, and results already give me an indication that the riders are riding well.

“I am thinking of Emily Collins’ victory the other day [in the Omloop van Het Hageland],” she added. “Again, I just really look forward being a part of the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team.”

As a four-time medallist in the World time trial championships, Villumsen will be one of the big favourites to take the rainbow jersey against the clock in Florence, Italy, in September. She will also add her considerable strength and experience to Wiggle Honda as its Track World championships aim for the team time trial title at the end of the season.

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