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Linda Villumsen takes sixth place in World Championship Road Race

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Linda Villumsen battled to an impressive sixth place in the World Championship Road Race, in Florence, Italy, despite suffering from a nasty cold. Riding in the colours of her adopted New Zealand, the Danish-born rider was one of just eleven riders left at the front of the race going into the last of the five 16.5km circuits, but was just unable to respond to the attacks on the final climb.


Defending champion Marianne Vos of the Netherlands managed to escape the others on the steepest slopes of the Via Salviani climb, and rode on to win the race 15 seconds clear of Sweden’s Emma Johansson and Italy’s Rossella Ratto.  Villumsen managed to recover a little on the final descent, to finish just 50 seconds behind.

“I was not feeling at my top,” Villumsen admitted through her cold. “I was hanging on a couple of times, only to came back and then get dropped again. I think that, even though I saw an opportunity to try something when the speed dropped, I wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t breathe properly. I was all blocked up and had a really bad headache, so I didn’t do it.”

“I felt better towards the end, but I still didn’t feel all that good,” she added. “In the front group they did the climbs hard and then slowed down a little bit afterwards.”


Despite her difficulties, sixth place, added to her silver medal from Tuesday’s individual time trial, made Villumsen the most consistent rider across both races.

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders Emily Collins and Lauren Kitchen both rode strongly in their first ever World Championships, for New Zealand and Australia respectively, while two-time former champion Giorgia Bronzini crossed the line in 26th place, in a race where only 46 of the 141-strong peloton made it to the finish.


1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
3. Rossella Ratto (Italy)

6. Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)

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