Villumsen faces lone ride in the road race
Sun, 29 Jul 2012 8:32a.m.
Kiwi cyclist Linda Villumsen faces a tough, lone battle when she tackles the women's road race at the London Olympics.
While other nations are able to field teams of riders because of their ranking, Villumsen will be on her own as the sole New Zealander in the 140km contest on Sunday.
Villumsen takes a glass half-full view of her situation.
What she doesn't want, however, is a mass sprint to the finish line on The Mall in central London.
"If it comes to a bunch sprint, I would not be so lucky," she said.
"But given that some of the bigger nations don't have a sprinter, they might want to make the race harder and it could be an advantage for me."
Her strategy will be to keep a wary eye on what is happening around her.
"I will just wait and see what the other nations are doing and maybe just try to follow."
Villumsen represented Denmark, the country of her birth, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing fifth in the road race.
She gained New Zealand citizenship a year later than then went on to wear the silver fern at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, where she won silver in the individual time trial.
The race against the clock has become her specialty, and she has collected three world championship medals in the discipline since 2009.
It is the 29km time trial on Wednesday that is her primary focus in London.
That course takes in roads in the county of Surrey, beginning and ending at Hampton Court Palace.
It features plenty of long flowing stretches and the 27-year-old Villumsen admits she would have preferred something a little more technical.
"I like a lot of corners and a lot of in and out of the seat," she said.
"But to my advantage, it's not just flat. It has some changes of rhythm."
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