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Villumsen screws over her team and sponsors for WC bands

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Villumsen screws over her team and sponsors for WC bands

Old 09-24-15, 11:29 AM
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cruiserhead
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Villumsen screws over her team and sponsors for WC bands

Villumsen at the heart of a storm after riding non-trade team bike to Worlds success | Cyclingnews.com

Wilier should be rightly pissed. She robbed them of their sponsorship rights and all future rights to put the WC colorway on their TT bikes.
She f'd over her team and made herself look completely unprofessional.

The real problem I see is that she didn't discuss or work something out with Wilier or her team.
She pulled a last minute switch without telling anyone.

I honestly think if she had discussed her reasoning, that Wilier would have done something with a custom bike.

I'm happy for her, she deserves the win but she really put a cloud over her win with her unprofessionalism.
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Old 09-24-15, 11:41 AM
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But...........she will be riding their bikes sporting the WC stripes on her jersey. As long as the incident is not brought up, that will be a good trade off.
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Old 09-24-15, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
But...........she will be riding their bikes sporting the WC stripes on her jersey. As long as the incident is not brought up, that will be a good trade off.
She did not win the WC with a Wilier.
It's a big embarassment for Wilier.

She will be wearing the WC colors in every TT, which now feels like a slap in the face of Wilier.

There are other non-sponsored equipment uses, but it's all in conduct with the team and sponsors.
Intentionally or not, it shows a lack of professional character.
She should be smarter than this- she's a hugely talented pro and it's so easy for her to be the "full package" instead of going this route of petty tactics to get her way.
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Old 09-24-15, 11:56 AM
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Quite the risk, to be honest. It sounds like she needed to go fractionally lower on the head tube than the Willier frame would allow, so she had to use a Trek, which I'd have to imagine she brought with her to Richmond planning on this very circumstance. She should have told her team well in advance, and maybe they could have re-branded the bike like a lot of teams do with non-sponsor equipment at the classics in Europe. As is, all the photos of her winning the TT show her on a gloss black frame with no branding at all. Willier is rightfully pissed, but she definitely shouldn't lose her job with UHC.

Interesting thing is that she competed in the TTT on the Willier. I know how manic these pros are about TT fits, you'd think she would have just stuck with the Willier given her experience earlier in the week on it.

Gotta say, though, from a purely aesthetic stance the bike she did ride looked amazing with her NZ kit.
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Old 09-24-15, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Interesting thing is that she competed in the TTT on the Willier. I know how manic these pros are about TT fits, you'd think she would have just stuck with the Willier given her experience earlier in the week on it.
Interesting observation
To me, that makes her look even worse.

If, as her side states, the bike did not fit properly,
you can see her riding the Wilier as really cagey tactics, full well knowing she is going to ride the Trek.
Very self-serving.

Obvious that this is premeditated. The blank Trek is planned well in advance with Trek, or custom painted.
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Old 09-24-15, 12:21 PM
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Does that skinsuit make her look kinda fat?
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Old 09-24-15, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
Does that skinsuit make her look kinda fat?
maybe if it was white with neon
naw, she's tiny.
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Old 09-24-15, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
Does that skinsuit make her look kinda fat?
5'7" 130 lbs... definitely not. Just a deep breath pushing her stomach out. I'm fairly thin but I've had photos from local races pop up that make it look like I've got a beer belly sticking out for the same reason, very flattering.
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Old 09-24-15, 12:56 PM
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I don't think sitting on a bike all scrunched up in lycra/spandex makes anyone look good no matter what the build. I was asking a worker at a ride a couple of years ago what size of jersey I should get. She was a beautiful blonde by the way. After looking at me in both sizes she remarked, "Get the XL it makes you look a little less like a sausage." I somehow managed a grin, but I was dying on the inside!

As for the thread topic, the coverup/denial story should get really interesting as it unfolds. So many questions to uncover. What is that bike even doing in VA and where/who was hiding it? No practice rides on it? Coaches or teammates did not know anything? There will be a whole lot of lying coming out of people's mouths.
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Old 09-24-15, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
After looking at me in both sizes she remarked, "Get the XL it makes you look a little less like a sausage."
ever consider the possibility that you look like a sausage?
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Old 09-24-15, 01:19 PM
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The thought has occurred. Briefly. But as a slight overweight, middle aged man with a stocky build all I see when I look in the mirror is "sexy!" Especially, when I suck the gut in.
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Old 09-24-15, 01:27 PM
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Back to Villumsen, her reputation is going to take a hit she might not be able to recover from. Maybe she should seek out Volkswagen as a sponsor. In the end, she might be regretting what she has done. Only she will know that. I wonder if the governing bodies are going to dig through the rule book(s) until they find something they can DQ her for and take away that medal.

Last edited by seypat; 09-24-15 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 09-24-15, 01:45 PM
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It was in VA cause she was working with New Zealand, for whom she raced the ITT for. It's foolish on her but it may not matter much in the end if all she cares about in the WC and the rainbow stripes. Yeah you would think she would have worked with UHC well in advance and got the bike situation squared away, it could have really backfired for her.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by WCroadie View Post
It was in VA cause she was working with New Zealand, for whom she raced the ITT for. It's foolish on her but it may not matter much in the end if all she cares about in the WC and the rainbow stripes. Yeah you would think she would have worked with UHC well in advance and got the bike situation squared away, it could have really backfired for her.
I went back and reread the article. Sounds like it was a joint Team New Zealand effort. If anyone should be feeling some heat it is the Wilier rep. assigned to her/UHC. etc. You would think all of the bike companies have lackeys making their rounds insuring there is no funny business going on.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:10 PM
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Here's another article with cycling new Zealand's side:

Mark Eliott responds to Linda Villumsen bike issue
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Old 09-24-15, 03:33 PM
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To make a back to back comparison between the (Trek?) and Willier, she probably had both in a windtunnel at some point in NZ. This whole thing had a lot of planning involved.

Obviously it worked, because the difference was just 2.5 seconds at the end of the event and I'm sure someone could put together some convincing data that being an inch or whatever lower on the unbranded bike was enough to win her the race.

Still, she should have told her team and her sponsors in advance. Like I said before, wasn't it fairly common for some companies to buy frames better suited to a given event from a manufacturer like, say, Giant, and then re-brand them with their own logo and say they're a prototype or something? Can they even do that any more with UCI rules as they are?
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Old 09-24-15, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
Villumsen at the heart of a storm after riding non-trade team bike to Worlds success | Cyclingnews.com

Wilier should be rightly pissed. She robbed them of their sponsorship rights and all future rights to put the WC colorway on their TT bikes.
She f'd over her team and made herself look completely unprofessional.

The real problem I see is that she didn't discuss or work something out with Wilier or her team.
She pulled a last minute switch without telling anyone.

I honestly think if she had discussed her reasoning, that Wilier would have done something with a custom bike.

I'm happy for her, she deserves the win but she really put a cloud over her win with her unprofessionalism.
The bold part is factually not true.

All bikes have to fit in the asinine UCI frame jig TWICE before being ridden. Once 2 hours before and once minute before going into the start house to ride. Riders on the TTT were DQ'd because somehow their handlebars grew 1mm and no longer fit.


The OP article doesn't mention last second bike changes...because the're weren't any, and the team knew in advance and were pissed in advance and told her not to-but she did anyway.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
The bold part is factually not true.

All bikes have to fit in the asinine UCI frame jig TWICE before being ridden. Once 2 hours before and once minute before going into the start house to ride. Riders on the TTT were DQ'd because somehow their handlebars grew 1mm and no longer fit.


The OP article doesn't mention last second bike changes
...because the're weren't any, and the team knew in advance and were pissed in advance and told her not to-but she did anyway.
Not a start line bike change, but it sounds like they (UHC) didn't find out until maybe the day before, certainly this week-

“We found out that she wasn’t riding our team bike on the eleventh hour. It was very last minute. Our understanding from Cycling New Zealand’s performance director was that she couldn’t get the front end of her position low enough on her team bike and that they had to use a different bike and she had to use a smaller bike that our team does not make. It was more a matter of fit than one of technology.”
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Old 09-24-15, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Not a start line bike change, but it sounds like they (UHC) didn't find out until maybe the day before, certainly this week-

“We found out that she wasn’t riding our team bike on the eleventh hour. It was very last minute. Our understanding from Cycling New Zealand’s performance director was that she couldn’t get the front end of her position low enough on her team bike and that they had to use a different bike and she had to use a smaller bike that our team does not make. It was more a matter of fit than one of technology.”
Exactly.
"last minute", "eleventh hour", all mean the same thing. Too late to do jack about it, and without any discussion with her team.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Not a start line bike change, but it sounds like they (UHC) didn't find out until maybe the day before, certainly this week-

“We found out that she wasn’t riding our team bike on the eleventh hour. It was very last minute. Our understanding from Cycling New Zealand’s performance director was that she couldn’t get the front end of her position low enough on her team bike and that they had to use a different bike and she had to use a smaller bike that our team does not make. It was more a matter of fit than one of technology.”
And they artfully avoid defining "11th hour". Further fit is fit. If the bike she had couldn't be made to fit right-which is what it sounds like...then why are they still talking aside from trying to sound angry to keep their jobs? Further it wasn't like she was riding a random bike she had in her shed-it was one from the NZ national federation.

Yea. It was a "last minute decision". So late and 11th-hour that her national federation found a frame that fit exactly the way she wanted it. Yea. Right.




Did she screw her sponsors? Sure, a bit. But they're passing the blame for kit that simply didn't fit right by blaming the athlete for using stuff that did fit....and then claiming "OMG we didn't know it was a last second decision". Ya right. I've seen more convincing acting from kids pretending a dog ate their homework.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
And they artfully avoid defining "11th hour". Further fit is fit. If the bike she had couldn't be made to fit right-which is what it sounds like...then why are they still talking aside from trying to sound angry to keep their jobs? Further it wasn't like she was riding a random bike she had in her shed-it was one from the NZ national federation.

Yea. It was a "last minute decision". So late and 11th-hour that her national federation found a frame that fit exactly the way she wanted it. Yea. Right.




Did she screw her sponsors? Sure, a bit. But they're passing the blame for kit that simply didn't fit right by blaming the athlete for using stuff that did fit....and then claiming "OMG we didn't know it was a last second decision". Ya right. I've seen more convincing acting from kids pretending a dog ate their homework.
I mean, I see what you're saying and it makes both sides look bad, you're right. Certainly she didn't just have this bike materialize. My interpretation, with some between-the-lines reading, is that her team was aware that she was working on her TT fit with the NZ federation. They were obviously aware that she'd had a particular position on this bike, which apparently she has ridden in international competition before, and that she was trying to get her position on the Willier to match it.

Being aware that she was still working on the fit of the Willier, her trade team really should have been on this to make sure that they could either get her a Willier frame that worked, or find some other alternative. It sounds like they just had faith she'd keep them in the loop and would eventually end up finding something that worked on their bike, but she didn't, and maybe it's on her too for not telling them until the last minute for fear of being left out of the TTT.

Blame on both sides, but Linda has a rainbow jersey and I think at this point she couldn't care less.
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Old 09-24-15, 04:06 PM
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These cyclists are not 'looked after'. Put the responsibility for the choices on the cyclist.
She is a professional, world-class caliber. She knows what she is doing and she can certainly pick her equipment, on her own, without any nannies from team NZ or her trade team. She makes her own decisions.

I suspect the Wilier was good enough for her to ride in the TTT. Why she didn't press the issue a long time ago with Wilier, if it was this important?

If, as I think Marcus ti is saying, that her team is feigning outrage and was involved all along, well, I doubt that. If true, than that is really crappy and cynical- and would hope Wilier pull sponsorship asap.

With the state of womens cycling, I seriously doubt the trade team would do this.

In any case, the bottom line is poor handling of the situation. Instead of having her trade team and sponsors with her, she looks to be out for herself. That could have all been avoided with good communication a long time ago.

Who knows the true story but going by the article is all we can do.
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Old 09-24-15, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
These cyclists are not 'looked after'. Put the responsibility for the choices on the cyclist.
She is a professional, world-class caliber. She knows what she is doing and she can certainly pick her equipment, on her own, without any nannies from team NZ or her trade team. She makes her own decisions.

I suspect the Wilier was good enough for her to ride in the TTT. Why she didn't press the issue a long time ago with Wilier, if it was this important?

If, as I think Marcus ti is saying, that her team is feigning outrage and was involved all along, well, I doubt that. If true, than that is really crappy and cynical- and would hope Wilier pull sponsorship asap.

With the state of womens cycling, I seriously doubt the trade team would do this.

In any case, the bottom line is poor handling of the situation. Instead of having her trade team and sponsors with her, she looks to be out for herself. That could have all been avoided with good communication a long time ago.

Who knows the true story but going by the article is all we can do.
1) Remember, she only won by 3 seconds. Play down the differences in fit as much as you want. But they could easily make the difference between winning and being 4th step (10 seconds back)

2) "She is a professional"...remember as a female professional you rarely even get health insurance. Hell you rarely even get a salary. You can be the #1 in the world and still collect a paycheck that lands you around the poverty line in women's racing. Most of the gals in UCI licensed actual professional racing are getting gear/kit comp'd and that is it. They're doing it for free-as-in-beer and fun. As such, the amount of company/sponsor loyalty to be rationally expected can and should be what you see out of a McDonald's employee. Should she look out for herself? Almost certainly yes. Which helps Villumsen more-getting 5th but riding the team bike-or winning the TT by riding the national machine? That fact that there's even a debate like that possible is wrong on most levels.

3) Why didn't she press the issue with Wilier? See #2 . She's lucky if she even gets a salary or healthcare...a custom built/molded rig from the team? Yea right. Not. In. Women's. Professional. Racing.
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Old 09-24-15, 04:25 PM
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Dude, you are totally missing the entire problem as well as making a lot of assumptions on what her situation is.

The real problem I see is that she didn't discuss or work something out with Wilier or her team.
She pulled a last minute switch without telling anyone.
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Old 09-24-15, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
Dude, you are totally missing the entire problem as well as making a lot of assumptions on what her situation is.
You're making a ton of assumptions as well. For example you're presuming the team's manager is not spinning a story for the benefit of covering his butt

Here's a story far more believable:
Racer: "Boss, the team's bike is slowing me down...I can go faster on the NZ federation bike"
Boss: "You can use whichever bike you want as allowed by UCI rules...but I'll deny we had this conversation later, and odds are I'll have to blame you publicly for ire from sponsors"
Racer: "....."

Boss: "see you at the race! "


How do you practice enough on a machine to know it is faster and not have your team and team manager not knowing? I mean frigging come on. It is called playing plausible deniability.
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