Ladies Wilma Aintila: "I want to find my spot in the big peloton"

Wilma Aintila talks about her first months in the elite peloton.
General 14 April 2023

Wilma Aintila made her debut in the elite peloton for the Lotto Dstny Ladies team at Danilith Nokere Koerse in March. The 19-year-old Finn is excited about her first months with the team and talks more about her ambitions and expectations.  

Wilma Aintila fell in love with cycling at a young age through her father, who works for the Finnish Cycling Federation: "In our family, cycling is really a family event. I started cycling with my father, brother and sister when I was ten years old. It soon became clear that I had a gift for it. There is no cycling culture in Finland, so at 14 I went abroad to race. That's how I got in touch with the Lotto Dstny Ladies team and took the step to the elite peloton."

Three years ago, Aintila moved to Sweden at the age of 16 to attend a specialised cycling school: "All my friends are riders and this allowed me to concentrate fully on cycling. They understand that the sport takes priority over everything else. Soon I will graduate and be able to fully focus on my cycling career."

What are your expectations for your first year with the elite women?

"First and foremost, I want to learn as much as possible. The step from U19 to elite is huge, everything is much more professional at Lotto Dstny. The peloton is bigger, the equipment better and the nutrition schedules much more detailed. Thanks to the team's guidance, my motivation increases and I can become a better rider. With the help of the team, I want to develop myself step by step and find my place in the big peloton. I want to help the team where necessary and achieve some good results together."

How do you look back on your first months with the team and the switch from U23s to elite cycling?

"It really is everything I dreamed of. I got to start in some great races and I get the support of a strong team. Within the team they pay attention to all the riders. As a result, we have all made great improvements in a short time. My highlight was without a doubt the Tour de Normandie, where you saw the team grow stronger by the day. I already rode some big races and am hungry for more."

Which race would you like to add to your palmares someday?

"My racing heart lies with the classics. I enjoy the flat races where there is hard work to be done, preferably when it is raining. So a race like Paris-Roubaix is the ultimate dream.”

Image: Facepeeters.

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