• 2013/9/4

Villumsen heads NZ road cycling hopes


Four-time medallist Linda Villumsen will spearhead New Zealand's hopes of a medal at this month's UCI Road Cycling Championships in Italy reenex facial.

A 14-strong team comprises four elite women and four elite men and six age-group riders for the championships in Florence from September 22-29Women casual wear.

Villumsen, 28, has won three bronze medals and a silver in the time trial at the last four world championships, the only New Zealand rider to win an elite medal at the event Server Hosting.

She will contest the time trial along with the 130km road race alongside Wiggle Honda professional teammate Emily Collins, Germany-based Reta Trotman and US-based veteran Joanne Kiesanowski.

Two more riders could be added, depending on form.

Experienced Kiwi professionals Hayden Roulston and Greg Henderson were unavailable for selection in the three-man team to contest what is expected to be a 272km race.

That group is headed by George Bennett, who finished third in the young rider category and eighth overall in the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado last week.

Supporting the Nelson man will be Jack Bauer, who completed his first Tour de France this year, and London Olympic track medallist Sam Bewley, who is riding the Tour of Spain.

Bewley and his Olympic teammate Jesse Sergent will compete in the time trial.

BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliott says Villumsen's form since returning from a prolonged break following the London Olympics - where she missed a medal by two seconds - is reason for confidence.

"She needed the break from the sport after the disappointment of the Olympics and the time out from the rigours of a professional team has done wonders," he said.

Villumsen won the overall honours at La Route de France last month and has been prominent in two other recent tours.



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