Introducing new signing, Marie Vilmann
Marie Vilmann is one of four new signees to the team for 2017. The Danish rider is a climber with keen interest on developing in the time trial.
Vilmann is relatively new to the sport after making her UCI race debut in 2014, only a few months into her road cycling career. “My first UCI race was Ladies Tour of Norway just after I started cycling. It was really a crazy experience,” she says, laughing.
The 23-year-old has a background in track running. She competed in the 3000 and 5000 metres disciplines. However, the intensity proved too much and injury forced her to change focus. She switched to triathlon, where she experienced her first introduction to the bike.
Running injuries persisted and the next step was to turn to cycling. Vilmann has little over two years under her belt in road cycling. She’s spent the majority of that time riding in service of fellow new Cervélo Bigla rider, Cecilie Ludwig.
Serious indications of her talent came in Gracia Orlova in 2016. Third on stage 4 and fourth on stage 2 played a part in her confidence but she says personal results aren’t the only satisfaction she’s enjoyed about the sport so far.
“I don’t have many big results but I have done some great work for my previous team that I am proud of. In Tour de Feminin, Cecilie was in the yellow jersey and I gave my all to protect the jersey every stage. There were many attacks on the climbs and I was always there for her. I did a lead-out for her on two stages and she won, it was so amazing,” Vilmann says.
Asked why she chose Cervélo Bigla as the next step in her development, she says the team stood out to her during competition.
“I noticed the teamwork in the races. I think Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio] is really strong and I love climbing and look up to her. I think it could be really nice to learn from her. In the races I can see the team has really good communication. There also seems to be real friendships, it’s more than just racing.”
With one training camp under her belt and another to follow shortly, the team’s passion for development is evident she says.
“Thomas [Campana] talked to us about the development of the team and it’s really important for me because I am so new to cycling. I get to learn from one of the biggest teams so that’s great. I’d like to improve my time trial. I like that it’s just you and your thoughts in the time trial. It’s really just about how strong you are as an individual rider.”