CECILIE UTTRUP LUDWIG
CERVÉ LO BIG LA
As the year comes to a close, I would like to take a look back on 2018 and share my thoughts with you guys. If I had to choose three words that would describe the past 12 months they would be: ‘exploring’, ‘expressing’ and ‘roller-coaster’.
Here is why. Throughout the year, I’ve been living out of my suitcase, always travelling around in Europe seeking good weather and at the same time challenging terrain. There are probably many people who prefer to have one base, but I’ve loved it – I’m young, wild and free! I have had the privilege of exploring the world, in the pursuit of finding a place I can live more permanently in the near future. It turns out that staying in a place amid the simple beauty of nature, training in surroundings that leave you speechless - THAT is exactly the place I want to live. Oh yes, I’m a yuppie hippie!
Something else that has left an imprint on my 2018 season was the reaction and debate that arose after I expressed my opinion in writing about the gender disparity in the parcours at the World Championships in Innsbruck this September, and the fact that the women’s road race course omitted the stand-out, race-defining ‘Hottinger Höll’ climb that the men’s road race featured. It seemed to hit a nerve. Journalists, debaters and fans of women’s cycling discussed and elaborated on the topic for a long period of time. The discussion even got further life after the disclosure of the Olympic parcours. No Mount Fuji for us compared to the men’s race. And why is the female peloton that will ride in Tokyo 2020 only going to be half the size of the male peloton? If we are going to develop women’s cycling further we need better exposure, and that means we need these types of debates. The dream of making a difference is still alive.
All in all, there have been lots of ups and downs in 2018. From a low in spring (which saw my wisdom tooth playing tricks on me) to the highlight of my season, La Course by Le Tour de France, where I finished fourth in Le GrandBornand. It has been a rollercoaster experience. But hey, straight roads do not make skilful drivers. I guess sometimes you just need to be patient.
So next year, my role is a little different in the team. My plan is to learn to be a team leader, and also a good team leader. I’ll make mistakes, sure, but this is how we grow. Despite the fact that I’m not completely satisfied with my own performance this year, I’m burning with desire to improve, to become one of the best cyclists in the world. Maybe more than ever. So, in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back”!
It's been a roller- coaster experience. But hey, straight roads do not make skilful drivers. I guess sometimes you just need to be patient
Cecilie's attack at La Course was her best ride of 2018, and earned her a fourth place