Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig on base miles and learning Spanish
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig had a whirlwind season. From finishing in the top 10 in her very first UCI World Tour race – Strade Bianche - to winning Setmana Ciclista Valenciana the following week, the Danish time trial champion went on to win the World Tour youth category. We check in with her to see what she’s up to during the offseason.
What have you been up to the last few weeks?
Right now, I’m in Banyoles for a couple of weeks, training with Marie [Vilmann]. I went home to Denmark to attend the national cycling awards and do some media but then came back to Spain to get some good training in in good weather here in Girona.
What have you been up to in Banyoles?
The weather is much better than Denmark. There are also some great mountains to train on. It’s nice to be in an apartment with great weather and a nice town to be in. I’m starting to learn Spanish as well.
What kind of riding do you do in this part of the year?
It’s base mile training. It’s all about that base about that base [singing and laughing]. Right now it’s about building the foundation for the season ahead.
As a professional cyclist, is base training a fun thing to do?
I like it. It’s much more fun when the sun is shining. If you do base training in nice company, it’s fun. I love being a pro cyclist. I love it more and more. I think the life of a cyclist is cool and it’s nice to stimulate the brain now with Spanish. I miss school a bit so the combination of training and learning is fun. Marie is a food lover so it has also been great cooking good food in the apartment.
What goes through your mind when you’re putting in the long hours on the bike right now.
I’m already getting excited about the Spring Classics. I’d like to race some of the big races which have become some of my favourite races. Strade Bianche, Liege-Bastogne-Liege...they are such cool races. I want to become better in them and try to hang onto the best riders. I want to develop and be in the final in more races. It’s quite motivating training towards that.
Did you have a low moment during this season?
Marie has become my best friend so not having her at the races and her missing such a big part of the season was something that isn’t nice. She’s not just a cycling friend but my best friend. We missed out on experiences together so that wasn’t great. The team missed her company while on our travels.
Do you have memories from this year that will be with you forever?
Winning the World Tour youth jersey was quite a big moment. It’s wasn’t something I counted on the beginning of the season. It became a goal much later in the season. The whole year has been so much fun to learn. It’s crazy how much I’ve learnt in one year on the team. When you have such a professional team around you, you learn so much from developing as a rider but also how to conduct yourself on social media. Being a cyclist isn’t just about being the best on the bike but how to be off the bike. We have such an experienced guy like Thomas who always gives us feedback after the races so I’ve learnt more than double than before coming to the team.