CE­CILIE UTTRUP LUD­WIG

CERVÉ LO BIG LA

Procycling - - PROLOGUE -

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

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