Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team announced Monday the signings of two young Danish talents in Cecilie Ludwig and Marie Vilmann. Both riders come from Team BMS BIRN and have signed one-year contracts for the 2017 season.
Ludwig, 21, is the Danish national time trial champion. She has also won two stages and the overall in Tour de Feminin this season, while Vilmann played a key domestique role in those successes.
"I think this is one of the best women's teams and I think I can really develop here," Ludwig said. "The girls and the staff are really professional. I get inspired the way the team rides in the races; I really want to be part of that.
"I noticed them when the team rode Auensteiner-Radsporttage. That was a beautiful win because the whole team sacrificed for Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio] and that was beautiful to see. The whole team was in the front pulling the peloton until they had nothing left and on the climb Ashleigh finished the work and that's a beautiful thing about cycling and teamwork.
"The team is special, it's a unit and they sacrifice for each other. I'm really looking forward to being in the climbs with Ashleigh and learning from Lotta and the others too. I think they could give Marie and I something of value to be great cyclists."
Vilmann added that she is looking forward to learning from riders like Moolman-Pasio to further her own development.
"The team is big on development and I am still new to the sport so I am looking forward to learning everything I can from the best. I also like the time trial, I like that it's just yourself and how strong you are and I want to improve in the time trial so this is the best team to do that in."
Ludwig has been cycling for several years, gaining early success when finishing on the podium in the World Championships as a junior in the time trial in 2012. Vilmann is a newcomer to cycling, having joined the sport two years ago after starting out in athletics then triathlon.
Team Manager Thomas Campana said in a press release that Ludwig will play a crucial role in helping Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio in the climbs during the 2017 season.
"We've had Cecilie on our radar since the Spring. She's consistently been one of the top riders in the under 23 rankings and is a growing talent. She's a very strong climber and I'm pretty sure she's going to become a really good time trialist. She's got good overall abilities which gives the team more opportunities in hard one day races as well as stage races. We were looking for someone to be with Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio] in terms of having a rider with her in the hard conditions and we think we've signed one of the most prospective talents in Cecilie."
Cervelo Bigla has already announced the return of Moolman-Pasio and Lotta Lepsito, along with the signing of Ciara Horne.