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Linda Villumsen “Back to my top level”

Born on the 9th of April 1985 in Herning, Denmark, Villumsen joins the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team after a short hiatus following the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Villumsen’s extensive career is credit to her exceptional capabilities as an athlete. As arguably one of the World’s most versatile cyclists, Villumsen’s horsepower is a valuable addition to any team. The Danish born New Zealander first entered the professional ranks in 2006 as a member of the Dutch Flexpoint team. Over the years Villumsen, has played an integral role in contributing to the results achieved by the World’s highest ranked teams including T-Mobile, AA-Drink and Orica-AIS.


Villumsen is the current New Zealand National Time Trial Champion and has an incredible list of palmers to her name which include two European Individual Time Trial Titles, Six Danish National Titles and medals in the time trial at both World Championship and Commonwealth Games levels.

Commenting on her return to the professional cycling scene, Linda expressed that her decision to take a break was a result of a mentally and physically draining in the past four years. “I believe it was time for me to step back a little and step out of this “bubble” that cycling has become. The last four years it was mentally and physically very hard making lots of sacrifices and spending my time in lots of hard training and races to fulfil my biggest dream, an Olympic medal. To just miss out a medal was a big disappointment and I just needed a little bit of time away from the international cycling scene. All the time I knew that I didn’t want to quit on such a short notice but on the other hand I can look back in honesty and say it was indeed the right choice for me to take a little break.”

Villumsen will return to the professional scene in the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling colours at the Giro Rosa later this month. “It is not easy to return half way through a season, it takes faith from any team to believe that a rider can start half way through a season and do well. Now I just have to proof that I am able to do that, and that it has been good for me motivation wise not to race earlier this year. When I was asked to come back to international racing I was not sure what the outcome would be. I can only be thankful to the Wiggle Honda team for giving me the opportunity to come back and hopefully work my way back to the same level as before.  It will not be easy that’s for sure, the level increases every year and I am sure my body will be in shock after the first couple of race starts but hopefully I can be back in the game soon.”

Linda Villumsen

Supporting Linda in her return to competition is BMC Pro Cycling rider Marco Pinotti. Pinotti has been Villumsen’s coach since they were both members of the now defunct HTC-Highroad. It was there when the humble Italian became witness to Villumsen’s potential and started providing her with training advice. “I showed him what I had done so far, and he sort of “laughed” a bit saying that there is lots of other ways to train. This is what I love about Marco’s training. I rarely go out and do the same workouts and I am really challenging myself in training which I believe has been the key to my success and hopefully Marco and I will continue working so well together. Marco has such a great knowledge about training, and what I really like is that we are such similar riders, we are both able to do very good time trials and we are both riders who are not scared to go in breakaways during races. I think this might also be the key to the success, we both respect each other and I also have to admit that I am really proud to be coached by him. When I told him how I felt about riding, training and racing he understood me, and we tried to target other things (the Time trial and nationals was one of them). I had to really push myself harder than I normally would in training. And all together I just could not have done any of this without Marco’s advice.”

Villumsen debuted with the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team at their team time trial training camp in Chichester, UK early June. She slotted in immediately with her new team mates and has quickly become a member of the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling family. “Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is new and really exciting. There are some young and very talented riders on the team, and some very experienced and world class riders. It is a very good mix and I think all the riders within the team are very motivated to perform well in every race. I look very much forward racing with the team soon, but first of all I am looking very much forward getting to know everyone better, and have some good training in the upcoming weeks. I must admit I feel a little like an outsider so I must work hard to be part of a team environment again. I also expect this team to perform well in the TTT.  The British Olympic Track Champions will for sure bring their talent into the TTT team, it will be very exciting to see what we can do in this event.”

With the signing of experienced riders such as Villumsen and Becker, complimented by the likes of Trott, King, Rowsell, Barker and Roberts, the team has a strong squad for the Teams Time Trial at the World Championships in Florence. Villumsen welcomes the pressure, but is still reserved about her own expectations for the remainder of the season. “This kind of pressure is not too bad, the pressure I put on myself sometimes is much worse. This season has been very different for me, and I can honestly say I am not up to full speed yet, but I hope I will be soon. This year I am first of all concentrating on performing well for the team, and then we’ll see what happens. First of all I just want to get back to my top level, after that I will set my goals for the short and long term. I just want to see first how the first couple of weeks of racing will go. For this year I do not have massive expectations regarding my own performance, but who wouldn’t want to perform well?”

Although Villumsen has a long and impressive career in cycling, she has dabbled in numerous other sports before focusing her talents purely on cycling.  As a child I did many different sports every day. I was into soccer, handball, swimming, horse riding and even dancing.  Basically I had something to do after school but when the competition started I narrowed this down to just soccer and handball. Then my older brother and I started riding into town and back as a loop ride and that quickly became a sport to see who was home the fastest. Quickly after I got in contact with the local cycling club and did a few time trials (so called medal races where you get a medal based on average speed). It was fun and I liked the competition and became part of the local club and really loved it. Later I had to choose between handball and cycling as both sports are very time consuming and also took up most week days and weekends for games and races. I decided to continue with cycling and have since then been involved in this sport. Although I have had a few years without cycling, and tried other sports such as Triathlon but I somehow always found my way back to just cycling.”

When not on a bike, Linda balances her time between other interests such as reading and drawing. “I always have something going on when I am not training, whether it is reading a book, drawing, painting, writing or catching up with family and friends. We have 24h in a day and I make sure I use them all. I am also not scared to do other things than riding my bike, and I like getting involved in other sports as well as hanging out at the local library reading a book and drinking coffee, what more can I say? I do like to study and I take subjects when I find courses and papers that fits with my training and racing schedules, which is not always easy when you like subjects that involve chemistry, biology and physics..”

In the next three weeks Villumsen will train hard to be ready for her first race with the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team, the Giro Rosa.

For more information on Linda Villumsen and the rest of the team at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling, check out the official website at

Follow Linda on Twitter: @LVillumsen and on Facebook

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