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Villumsen and Kitchen first and third in Tour de l’Ardèche prologue

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Linda Villumsen won the opening prologue of the Tour de l’Ardèche in the town of Vallon Pont d’Arc, to take the first pink jersey of the race. The New Zealand time trial champion flew around the flat 2.5km course in a time of three minutes and four seconds, to finish two seconds quicker than Russian Alexandra Burchenkova (RusVelo).


In a fantastic result for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling, Australian Lauren Kitchen completed the prologue podium with third place, with three minutes and nine seconds, having briefly held the lead before Burchenkova finished her ride.

The victory for Villumsen is especially sweet, after the disappointment of narrowly missing out on the Route de France at the beginning of August; although she did go on to win that race overall.

“I’m very happy indeed, and one disappointment is often forgotten when it is followed by a win,” she smiled. “I am happy, and really we could not wish for a better start for the team with Lauren finishing third.”


“It will be an interesting week, lots of teams represented in this race,” Villumsen added. “I’ve never done it before, so I’m really looking forward to the next days.”

The early running had been made by Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s New Zealander Emily Collins, who set off as 17th rider to start, and whose time of three minutes and 13 seconds was to stand for more than half an hour.

“There’s not a lot you can say about 2.5km,” smiled Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “They just went out of the blocks, and all went as hard as they could, and that was the result.


“There was nothing technical about the course at all, so there’s not much you can say!”


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