30 Jul 2012

Villumsen places 18th in cycle road race

10:08 am on 30 July 2012

New Zealand cyclist Linda Villumsen handled a wet road and challenging course well but finished 18th in the 140km Olympic women's road race.

Dutchwoman Marianne Vos beat Briton Elizabeth Armistead in a sprint for the gold medal, with Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia third.

Behind them was a large bunch of 24 riders, including Villumsen, who says she didn't have the legs to go with the breakaway, but because of the rain was just happy to finish.

"A lot of girls were nervous, including myself," she says.

Conditions in the race were treacherous, says Villumsen, who was fifth in the same event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when representing Denmark.

Villumsen's main Olympics focus is the time trial later in the week. She has been a medallist in that event at the past three world championships.

The 27-year-old claimed silver in the individual time trial at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and came second at the 2011 World Championship time trial. She defeated the Olympic and world champions in the Giro del Trentino in northern Italy in June this year.