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“We need to get the stories told” – Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig blogs for Voxwomen

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Hello from sunny Gran Canaria and thank you for reading my first blog for Voxwomen!

Let me introduce myself. I’m Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, 22 years old, professional cyclist on Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling team and obsessed with avocado (on bread, with chocolate on top…SO GOOD) 😀

But how did I get into cycling? I was a former swimmer, training a lot, but kept getting sick whenever I was in the water. I stopped, but I was an athletic and active kid so had to try something new. My local cycling club was celebrating its 90th birthday and they invited people down to hear what they had to offer. Ever since then I have been a cyclist. And what a dream job! I’m traveling around the world, riding my bike, doing what I love – and getting paid for it!

I have fallen more and more in love with cycling and women’s cycling is my passion. I want to be part of the change, increasing knowledge and awareness and giving women’s cycling the attention it deserves. Women’s cycling can be extremely exciting to watch. Even seasoned pro’s like Mark Cavendish said the women’s road race at the Bergen 2017 World Championships was the most exciting race the whole week. A lot is happening in women’s cycling at the moment. And it’s great to see associations like The CPA Women and The Cyclist Alliance arise, set to defend and fight for our interests and rights and push for better conditions.

As a rider – I’m an all-rounder, I really like climbing – undulating landscape and difficult terrain like cobbles and gravel. I love races like Liege Bastogne Liege, Tour of Flanders and Strade Bianche and can’t wait for racing to begin again. I also love time trialling, and want to focus on it and improve my TT skills this year.

When I look back on 2017 it makes me smile. It was a really great year and I learned so much both on and off the bike with such a professional team like Cervelo Bigla. It is such a cool set up. On top of that, to get the blue Women’s World Tour young riders jersey… I didn’t expect that at all!

My main goal now is to continue to learn. I need more experience in racing and in life – I am still quite young! I will have my time to shine. One day I’ll compete among the best, but in 2018 my primary role is to help my teammates Ash (Moolman Pasio) and Lotta (Lepisto). I want to raise my level once again and be there in the final stages so we have more cards to play.

So what have I been up to since the end of the 2017 season? My off-season has been extremely relaxing filled with fond memories. I started it in the Maldives with my family which was amazing. Absolutely phenomenal. Just sun, sand, beach and no bikes!

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Then I went to the UCI Gala. It was my first time in China, and it was a great experience. It was so cool to see a different culture.

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I then headed back to Girona for November and December with my teammate and best friend Marie Vilmann. Girona is a great place for cyclists, nice weather and hilly terrain – just as I like it;-)

For now though, I am training in Gran Canaria with some mountainbikers, Annika, Lisette and Malene. It’s nice that we can meet across disciplines and train on the roads with some fellow Danish riders.

I want to finish off by saying that I’m happy to get the opportunity to blog for Voxwomen. Professional women’s cycling doesn’t always get that much attention in the media. In order to improve the conditions for the female peloton, we need to get the story told. This is my contribution.

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