We are so lucky to have six ambassadors for the race, and all of them is competing at a very high international level, and they will represent their respectively teams during the Ladies Tour of Norway. In the weeks before the race, we will present each one of them through a portrait interview to become more familiar with them.
First out is the world number one Emma Johansson.
INTERVIEW GUIDE – LADIES TOUR OF NORWAY 2014 -AMBASSODORS
Name ; Emma Johansson
Age : 30
Civil status : gift
Place of birth : Resele
Lives in : Tønsberg, Norge/ Zingem, Belgia
lub : Härnösand CK
Team : ORICA-AIS
1. Tell us about the reason why you started biking, and when did you start?
I have always admired my older brother and followed in his footsteps. As a little girl I competed in cross-country skiing just like him. It was a lot of hard training and I found it cold and tough. When my brother started MTB biking it was natural for me to try that too.
I enjoyed the freedom and type of training and cycling became my main sport. I have many championship medals on MTB in underage classes and junior. When I started high school I moved to Skara and started at the cycling college there. At the college we had to run racers. At the beginning I didn’t feel like trying but after I was selected to the nationals and got the team-feeling I was dedicated. My first MTB race I run when I was 11 years old and it was not until I was junior that I competed on the road.
2. Your best memory from biking?
I have many good memories from workouts and competition. I love my life as a cyclist, but have no special memory that points out as the best. I believe that the best memory will come sometime in the future…. OL silver in Beijing was huge and changed a lot, but the best is yet to come…..
3. Your worst memory from biking?
That I have forgotten…. Life goes on. Sports at this level is brutally honest and the ups and downs come fast.
4. You are a professional cyclist in Orica, tell us about your team.
The team is Australian and has both male and female team. We in the female team have support from the Australian Institute of Sport (Olympiatoppen/SOK in Australia). We are 8 Australian bikers, one Italian, one Dutch and me. Our goal is to promote female biking in Australia.
5. We will arrange a common fitness race for women in connection with the UCI-race. What are your best tips for girls at all ages that wants to get more fit?
Have fun. It takes time to get fit and achieve your goals. For me it is important to have fun. Enjoy the challenges and give yourself credit when you have done well.
6. What and whom has meant the most for you in your career so far?
My family is very supportive and means a lot. I have parents who have let me follow my dream without putting any pressure on me. During my international breakthrough the support and experience from my husband Martin made the way up shorter for me.
7. What are your best advises to young girls who wish to have a cycling career?
There is put more pressure on us girls to succeed at more arenas than the boys. If you are clear about what you want with you cycling and grab the chances that comes by, it is easier for the world to accept untraditional choices as to be a female cyclist. Travel abroad, compete and build experience. It takes time to be good… I was 24 years old before I got my breakthrough. Be patient.
8. What are your career goals on the bike?
I want to win the WC, the Olympics and Ronde van Vlaanderen
9. When you are not cycling, how do you spend your time?
I see my family and friends very seldom and I like to keep in touch with them on Skype
I also appreciate a nice cup of coffee, relax and watching a movie
I have no special hobbies except the cycling which takes up most of my time.
10. Girls does not get the same attention in their sports as the boys. What is your best advises to make female cycling more popular amongst media and audience?
Personally I try to be available for media and fans in order to give them insight in our sport. I do not believe that we female cyclists can go so much more than to engage in social media and media, and support those who organize races and our sponsors. To be able to make a change it is necessary to show female cycling on the TV to show that ladies cycling has an entertainment value and is as exciting as the male cycling.
This is difficult… the discussion about «the hen or the egg» is brought up easily.
11. Ladies Tour of Norway is arranged in Halden in 2014. What to you associate with Halden?
So far I do not associate Halden with anything special. I hope that Ladies Tour of Norway can change this! To me Halden is a city I pass by when I go to Sweden.
Last year I cycled through Halden on my way to Sweden. The city center, the pier and the fortress was great. I am sure that Halden can create a good setting for a large international cycle race. It also surprised me how beautiful and nice it was to cycle in the area. It will be more training in the Halden area for me.
12. What are your expectations to Ladies Tour of Norway 2014?
It is always exiting with new races on the calendar. Halden and the area around has beautiful Norwegian nature. I expect that Halden shows the best of Østfold. We look forward to this. I also expect that we cyclists will make a speedy folk festival and contribute so that this can be an arrangement for the future.
13. Which are your and your team’s ambitions in LToN 2014?
For me this is almost home ground… Norway and Sweden….
I always compete to win. It will be tough to win all together. I will do my best and hope to make my mark on the race.
14. At last, mention three things that we do not know about you
A. I always pee 10 minutes prior to start.
B. I like to be private and can get tired of sharing my life with the media
C. I like Norwegian brown cheese.