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Judith Arndt

The resort is a luxurious one

Bring on the new season!

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 23, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:59 BST

As the new year arrived I packed my bag and my bike and took off to Majorca, the cycling-mad Spanish...

February 1, 2007

As the new year arrived I packed my bag and my bike and took off to Majorca, the cycling-mad Spanish island. It's definitely the place to go if you are either the owner of a race bike or a German pensioner! Usually at this time of the year Majorca is half athletes and half oldies sharing the hotels and they get along quite well - except the breakfast and dinner buffets turn into battle fields sometimes. It's understandable though, the cyclists are always hungry and the oldies excited for their daily highlights, so everybody wants to be first.

Anyways, the T-Mobile team stayed at the Robinson Club in Cala Serena. As we have enough people to completely occupy the club, at least it was a relaxing time during the meals!

It was the second time, after the two day meeting in Lugano last fall, that our whole team has come together. I think all of us had been looking forward to this team camp because it was supposed to become a really big thing!

Everybody who is involved in both T-Mobile and the cycling team met there: women's team, men's team, all staff members, different kinds of coaches, doctors, lots of VIPs from the T-Mobile company and media people. It was not boring to get to know all those people for sure, I was asking and answering a lot of questions.

We had no time to get bored anyway, since our days have been extremely busy throughout the whole time! Every morning we had to get up at 6.45am.

For the first morning my room mate, Emilia [Fahlin], set her alarm - which played the sound of the Swedish national anthem! At night, before we went to bed, I thought this idea was funny, but when this song played at full blast in the middle of my dreams I was not so amused. Once the fright had disappeared we both agreed that national anthems are not suitable for early morning wake up calls.

At seven o'clock the daily core strength class began. The goal of these lessons was to develop more stability, especially in the trunk. It was quite interesting to learn the new exercises, and I think it also makes sense to get more stable first, before building up strength.

After breakfast we always had time to spend some hours on the bike before the tight afternoon and evening schedules took over with nutrition works shops, media training lessons, more physio testing, filming, meetings and so on. No time for taking naps or hanging out at the pool bar!

Another big event was the team presentation which took place in the club theatre. A bunch of journalists arrived on a charter flight in the morning of January 13, and while we were rehearsing they got to catch some sunbeams (sunlight) to become good tempered before watching the big magenta show on stage.

I think our presentation was pretty successful, since the atmosphere was relaxed and nobody misbehaved or said something wrong. I hope the journalists found it interesting and will use all the information they got to report a lot about us (especially about the women's team of course!).

After the presentation day was over, it was a bit more quiet for us and we even had time to visit the bar at night to have some non-alcoholic drinks and to meet the boys.

One night the three ladies from our management team and our soigneur, Joel, came up with a little entertainment program for us. They put funny dresses on and played Singstar (a playstation game). Although their show was pretty convincing, I still think they should stay coaching and managing us.

There's no doubt about Joel being the ultimate Singstar. However, playing that game everyone could show their multi-talented side to the team. We got to enjoy lovely cover versions of some super hits - the highlight was definitely Kate [Bates] & Alexis [Rhodes] as Sonny & Cher.

I think everybody in the team left the camp really motivated to start racing soon! Kate and Alexis already have won a couple of the Australian national races, and we others really want to do the same!

We have so much support from all sides, have learned so many new things and received a lot of positive feedback - the only thing missing now is the opportunity to show that we are really good.

Our first race as a team will be the Geelong Tour which starts on February 27. There we finally get the chance to go out and try to win, or at least perform well.

It just feels weird when you take not only all the nice material things but also the knowledge, good advice and the positive energy of so many different people - and don't have the possibility to give something back yet!

The start line of the season is almost in sight, and we are more than ready to go!

Judith

See also: Cyclingnews' coverage of the T-Mobile team presentation

Judith Arndt (T-Mobile Women) celebrates one win of three at the Giro.

Winning at the Giro & Thüringen

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 23, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:59 BST

After some wonderful days Petra and I have spent with friends in Sweden, I am back in business now....

August 15, 2007

After some wonderful days Petra and I have spent with friends in Sweden, I am back in business now. Today, I have started my preparation for the last part of the season. The next 10 days I will spend mostly with my bike and my iPod while putting long hours onto the streets around my hometown Leipzig.

So far the season went quiete well for the T-Mobile Team. As a result we are ranked as the number one team in the UCI ranking by now. I think this is pretty cool, isn't it? Well, at least I am very proud to be part of that, plus I just have fun going to work at the moment!

Although it was not always easy to concentrate on racing with all the doping chaos in men's cycling going on, we were able to get some really cool victories onto our account in the last few weeks.

Lets start with the Giro, where we managed to take three stage wins. One time I crossed the finish line first, and on the pictures and in the result, it looked like I had won the bunch sprint. How cool, since it was always my dream to beat all the good sprinters in a real sprint for a stage win! But I have to admit that both the photos and the result were deceptive. In truth I had attacked with one kilometer to go, went solo, and just made it home before the fast girls caught me. No dream come true, but still a groovy way to win a bike race, I think.

As I came out of the Giro not as tired as I usually would have been after 10 days of racing, I was really looking forward to Thüringen Tour which was supposed to start one week later.

Thüringen is almost a home race for me, since I live only one hour from there. A lot of my friends and relatives come to watch the race every year, which makes me really happy. Also my birthday is always when Thueringen is on, which does not make me happy, since drinking and dancing is cancelled then, of course.

Sometimes I get lovely presents from my team-mates. This year, for instance I got a dancing cow from Oenone. I still wonder what she wants to tell me with that...

Back to cycling, the first two days of the tour were just normal races, but on the third day it got interesting, when a British rider named Emma Pooley disappeared on her own and soon had over 10 minutes to the bunch. The Raleigh Team which held the race lead at this point refused to do their job and remained quiet. As nobody else felt responsible to send some riders to the front to do some chasing it was Nuernberger and us who started to work with 30km to go to keep the damage as low as possible. Pooley won with about five minutes ahead of the next group.

The next day changed everything again, since Noemi Cantele, Amber Neben, and I managed to finish with over six minutes on the next group and 37 minutes ahead of the peleton. My stage win put me into the yellow jersey with some seconds ahead of Cantele and more than half of a minute ahead of Neben, which felt quite comfortable.

Unfortunately, the race lead changed again in the time trial the morning after. I didn't have the best legs and felt a bit tired from the long break away the day before. Neben really surprised me with her strong time trial, and of course, I was a bit disappointed, but I was only 10 seconds behind in the overall which wasn't that dramatic either.

Then, some of the most excellent teamwork ever started. Once we had decided to try to get back the time via bonus seconds my team-mates had to chase down every single rider who wanted to disappear. So the magenta women did their team time trial in front of the peleton, and I was only sitting in waiting to sprint for those stupid seconds. It was nerve-wracking! Amber did a pretty good job defending herself, too. However, after the second last stage she was only two seconds ahead, which promised an exciting last day for both riders and specators.

Once the last stage had started, the picture looked the same as for the stage before: attack after attack, and T-Mobile time trialing in the front to get them all back. I was wondering why all those ambitous attacking riders didn't simply wait until after the bonus sprints, then we would have been more than happy to let them go. But attacking like this, they didn't succeed. They only made it really hard for my team-mates.

Anyways, it was hard, but we managed so that I could sprint two more seconds out of Neben, which put us both in equal time. Fortunately my numbers behind the comma in the time trial were better than Neben's, thats why (after some confusion caused by the announcer who called Amber Neben as the winner to the spectators), I got the overall win at the end. For me, that was one of the most emotional victories ever! I was so excited that I almost passed out on the podium. Such a close race...the last bonus sprint had even been a photo finish between us! Could a race be more spectacular?

After some days of deep breathing we went to Sweden for the seventh World Cup race this year. As we had not won a World Cup so far, we were really determined to change that.

With a few different tactical plans in mind we went optimistic into the race.

Sweden is a nice World Cup. They even have fireworks when we come over the climb the first time, and it's not only a lot of spectators, there are also hay bails formed like people watching us. Its a pretty cool atmosphere there!

The race started very agressive with attacks from the gun, and it stayed like this until the end. The best attack was launched by Chantal Beltman from our team. It was just perfectly timed, plus with Karin Thuerig she got the perfect companion as well. They both were smart enough to stay together until the last climb from where it was about six kilometers to go. When I heard in the radio that Chantal had dropped Thuerig in the climb and was away solo to take the win, I really had a hard time to stay focused on the race. It was just too cool, I got goosebumps and was smiling the whole last lap. The most funny thing was that Chantal was just back from her trip to South-Korea and Bejing, but obviously sitting in airplanes and sightseeing in Asia can't be that bad!

That was it for now. I'm off for long slow miles now, where the bakery stops will be the only excitement.

Judith

The women's peloton

How the World's road race unravelled for Germany

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 23, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:59 BST

So, the season is over. About 80 races and lots of hours in cars and planes are behind me. Instead...

October 5 , 2007

So, the season is over.

About 80 races and lots of hours in cars and planes are behind me. Instead of sleeping in uncomfortable hotel beds and sitting on camping chairs at the races, or on a hard and small thing called a saddle in the races, I can now enjoy the pleasure of my own big bed and my even bigger couch.

I can go to bed as late as I want and sleep in in the morning, or don't even sleep at all. I can eat what I want, and even better: I can eat *when* I want. Or I don't eat at all, which can be really nice for a change! No more gels and recovery drinks for a while now. No more Powerbars, which taste all the same after a while, no matter if it is kokos, chocolate or strawberry flavour. No more packing bags in and out and in and out and so on, and always being worried I've forgetten something.

Well, it's a time called freedom without being tied up in any schedules at all, and I was really looking forward to it! Although it can also include some difficulties, when all of a sudden you have to organize your life by yourself (again). Sometimes I even struggle to go to the supermarket to buy food and make a sandwich myself, because for the whole year somebody else has done it for me. Or that I have to drive the car myself, instead of just sitting half asleep in the backseat with music in my ears. No massages anymore either, and somehow nobody feels responsible to do the laundry. Anyway, now I'm sitting here at home with my head still a bit twisted thinking back to the last race of the season.

The Road World Championships was a big personal goal for me. I was convinced that we (German national team) had a really good chance to get the rainbow jersey back onto the shoulders of a German rider. But then everything unfolded slightly differently.

Felt like team spirit

It actually started really well, with another awesome team meeting the night before the race. We were all got told our jobs for the next day by JoDo, who is our national coach, and by Petra Rossner, who always supports JoDo at World's and brings in all her experience and enthusiasm to the team. World's is a special thing of course, because we all come from different trade teams and nomally race against each other, but for the past few years we really managed to become a dream-team only for one day, and we all were determined to practice this again.

So the meeting was good, I found, because nobody really wanted to leave the room although we actually were done with serious talking. If the meeting is bad, everybody normally rushes away as soon as the last word is spoken. I think we all were really excited to go out and try to win the jersey back!

Next morning: at 9 o'clock the race started and everything went well for us until the end of lap five when half of the bunch - including myself - crashed over a fallen barricade. I had a soft landing, though, on top of two other riders and it didn't take me long to get back on my bike.

Luise Keller was standing next to me waiting already to bring me back to the front group. She was the best, smooth like a cat and acted without any panic. On the next climb Noemi Cantele (Italy) and Amber Neben (USA) attacked, and unfortunately, nobody from the German team was on their wheels when they took off, but Claudia Häussler and Hanka Kupfernagel chased them back. The whole effort cost us two team-mates, but also did wear out two of the riders we had on our "riders-to-get-rid-of-list"; so the situation was still good for us.

In the final lap Cantele attacked again on the same climb, and again I didn't manage to be on her wheel immediately, but I wasn't far away either, and could close the gap to her and Vos, so on top of the climb we were a leading group of seven, including three Italians. Then it started to go wrong.

Our plan was to be in the majority at the end of the race, but instead of us, it was the Italian team that played the cards we wanted to play. So Marta Bastianelli (Italy) attacked, and again I was not on her wheel, so I decided to let my Dutch T-Mobile team-mate Chantal Beltman work, since there were at least two of them in our group. After some attacks and watching each other we slowed enough so a group of 14 riders could get back on to us. Trixi Worrack was in there, too, but all in all the group was too big, and with Marianne Vos (Holland) and Giorgia Bronzini there were two top sprinters still in there, and the race started to run out of our hands.

As we entered the next descent, a Canadian rider crashed and I crashed over her abandoned bike lying on the ground. That was basically it for me. The Canadian and I did get back on to the leading group somehow, but I was gone, only sitting on the bike and pedaling but otherwise totally useless. So Trixi (Worrack) tried what she could, she needed to get away solo, but it didn't happen, so we got away with a disappointing top twenty place only.

No worries, Alex

The Canadian rider, I think it was Alex Wrubleski, came up to me a couple of times during and after the race to apologize that she had caused the crash. I wasn't really in the mood to talk to her at this time, but for sure I want her to know that she really doesn't have to feel guilty at all. Nobody crashes on purpose. So that's alright.

It was certainly bad luck, although I also think you are responsible yourself for your own luck to a certain point. Maybe my instinct was not the best at this day either, being either involved in crashes or never on the wheel when attacks went. But still, the way my German team-mates raced was brilliant. They were all sad after the race, of course, and so was I, but they don't have to be disappointed with themselves.

Their work was really good and reliable; only the outcome was not what we wanted, but that can happen when some circumstances are not perfect. Eva Lutz did the first World's of her carreer and it was fantastic to see her excitement and loyality she put into the race. So even though the result was not even close to our expectations, I will still remember the World Championships in Stuttgart as a good and interesting experience and hope that we can transport this spirit we have through the following years as well.

So, that was it for this year. I think it's not the best timing that the end of the cycling season comes along with fall. Outside it's raining and leaves are falling from the trees, which puts me in a weird mood. It's strange, when cycling has occupied your life for months, and suddenly it's gone and also the people you have to spend all your time with on the road are gone for a while.

I always need some time to get into the rhythm of a different life during the off-season, but I know it will feel the same when the next season starts and I have to leave home again.

Judith

Ringing in the Olympic year

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 23, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 12:00 BST

So another Olympic year has just started, and I feel a bit like I just kept rolling from the finish...

January 24, 2008

So another Olympic year has just started, and I feel a bit like I just kept rolling from the finish line of my last race straight to the start line of the new season. For one or the other reason, the off season was not as relaxing as I wanted and needed it to be. Now it will be interesting to see how I can work out of a non-perfect position.

At least my body got a bit of a break from the bike. Actually this is kind of a sad procedure every year though: You stop riding your bike and 'boooom!' All the muscles are gone! Then my legs only look like sticks with a fat layer around, and all the running and skiing I do don't seem to do anything to prevent that.. Anyway, better times are in sight, because I am on Mallorca now for the first training camp. Here with me is the European squad of our team, finally trying to escape from all the rain, snow and cold.

Big changes have happened in the past few weeks to our team. Magenta is out - Black is in! Good bye T-Mobile - Hello High Road! Of course it is sad when a story of success finds such a bad ending. I was always very proud to wear the T-Mobile jersey. Last week I had to cover every little magenta spot or stripe on my bike, which was a weird feeling. Its funny to hide something which everybody knows about! Actually I had never noticed before, that this magenta colour was really everywhere: on our clothing, bikes, cars, brains, everywhere! Now its all black (maybe not the brains).

Despite of some difficulties that have come along with T-Mobile pulling out, I am still very optimistic considering that everybody is working hard to make the best out of the new situation. Plus, an ending always means the start for something new which makes it possible to improve things or to break with outdated structures. For myself, I will try to improve my fitness first of all - here on Mallorca and then later on in California at team camp before heading to Australia and New Zealand for the first block of racing.

It's nice to feel a little improvement every day. I am working with the SRM training system for years now, and spend a lot of time evaluating my training files. Its interesting to compare the files with some of the previous years, and if you look at every file thoroughly enough you can direct your training much more effectively. Also the feeling on the bike can sometimes be deceptive, but the numbers and graphs I get to see after each ride are always telling the truth.

To get into shape requires a lot of patience. I find that hard every time again. Starting from zero, plus, it's pretty boring sitting on the bike every day just light pedaling for hours and hours. On the other hand, when my friend and team-mate Anke Wichmann tells me stories about the cyclo-cross races she is doing, I am only glad that I don't have to do that. Not only that I wouldn't really like to fall into the mud - I also can't really imagine to put myself into this bad pain of going over the limit in a bike race yet. So I think I just have to be bored for a little longer until I am ready to stand some pain in my legs again. It all makes sense.

This winter I have found out that there are many different sorts of pain. For example, I did my first marathon last October. The running world is a totally different world compare to cycling - and so is the pain. While running my legs lost all their feeling after 35 kms. I used to think that if something is numb you can't feel pain either, but that was very wrong! It was painful, but different! In any case it was an interesting experience.

I hope I get to make some more interesting experiences this year - Bejing would be a nice one, for instance. So far I was 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th at Olympic Games. If I look at this from the optimistic side I would say, two numbers are still missing in that series. When I see it from the other side, I would say, I'm just not a winner type! :-) We will see, for sure I am very excited heading into an Olympic year again. It will be hard to get qualified in a country like Germany, with so many strong riders, but I hope that I can manage to jump on that boat again, and then be a useful team member this time (and not such a disaster that I was last year at Worlds).

For now though I have to remain training patiently, and to bridge the time and keep myself in a good mood, I will be celebrating every muscle on my legs that decides to come back and every vein that dares to show through the fat layer on my calves. Soon racing under the new High Road flag starts, and I hope then there will be better reasons to celebrate again!

Ciao,

Judith

The women's peloton

How the World's road race unravelled for Germany

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 05, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:00 BST

So, the season is over. About 80 races and lots of hours in cars and planes are behind me. Instead...

October 5 , 2007

So, the season is over.

About 80 races and lots of hours in cars and planes are behind me. Instead of sleeping in uncomfortable hotel beds and sitting on camping chairs at the races, or on a hard and small thing called a saddle in the races, I can now enjoy the pleasure of my own big bed and my even bigger couch.

I can go to bed as late as I want and sleep in in the morning, or don't even sleep at all. I can eat what I want, and even better: I can eat *when* I want. Or I don't eat at all, which can be really nice for a change! No more gels and recovery drinks for a while now. No more Powerbars, which taste all the same after a while, no matter if it is kokos, chocolate or strawberry flavour. No more packing bags in and out and in and out and so on, and always being worried I've forgetten something.

Well, it's a time called freedom without being tied up in any schedules at all, and I was really looking forward to it! Although it can also include some difficulties, when all of a sudden you have to organize your life by yourself (again). Sometimes I even struggle to go to the supermarket to buy food and make a sandwich myself, because for the whole year somebody else has done it for me. Or that I have to drive the car myself, instead of just sitting half asleep in the backseat with music in my ears. No massages anymore either, and somehow nobody feels responsible to do the laundry. Anyway, now I'm sitting here at home with my head still a bit twisted thinking back to the last race of the season.

The Road World Championships was a big personal goal for me. I was convinced that we (German national team) had a really good chance to get the rainbow jersey back onto the shoulders of a German rider. But then everything unfolded slightly differently.

Felt like team spirit

It actually started really well, with another awesome team meeting the night before the race. We were all got told our jobs for the next day by JoDo, who is our national coach, and by Petra Rossner, who always supports JoDo at World's and brings in all her experience and enthusiasm to the team. World's is a special thing of course, because we all come from different trade teams and nomally race against each other, but for the past few years we really managed to become a dream-team only for one day, and we all were determined to practice this again.

So the meeting was good, I found, because nobody really wanted to leave the room although we actually were done with serious talking. If the meeting is bad, everybody normally rushes away as soon as the last word is spoken. I think we all were really excited to go out and try to win the jersey back!

Next morning: at 9 o'clock the race started and everything went well for us until the end of lap five when half of the bunch - including myself - crashed over a fallen barricade. I had a soft landing, though, on top of two other riders and it didn't take me long to get back on my bike.

Luise Keller was standing next to me waiting already to bring me back to the front group. She was the best, smooth like a cat and acted without any panic. On the next climb Noemi Cantele (Italy) and Amber Neben (USA) attacked, and unfortunately, nobody from the German team was on their wheels when they took off, but Claudia Häussler and Hanka Kupfernagel chased them back. The whole effort cost us two team-mates, but also did wear out two of the riders we had on our "riders-to-get-rid-of-list"; so the situation was still good for us.

In the final lap Cantele attacked again on the same climb, and again I didn't manage to be on her wheel immediately, but I wasn't far away either, and could close the gap to her and Vos, so on top of the climb we were a leading group of seven, including three Italians. Then it started to go wrong.

Our plan was to be in the majority at the end of the race, but instead of us, it was the Italian team that played the cards we wanted to play. So Marta Bastianelli (Italy) attacked, and again I was not on her wheel, so I decided to let my Dutch T-Mobile team-mate Chantal Beltman work, since there were at least two of them in our group. After some attacks and watching each other we slowed enough so a group of 14 riders could get back on to us. Trixi Worrack was in there, too, but all in all the group was too big, and with Marianne Vos (Holland) and Giorgia Bronzini there were two top sprinters still in there, and the race started to run out of our hands.

As we entered the next descent, a Canadian rider crashed and I crashed over her abandoned bike lying on the ground. That was basically it for me. The Canadian and I did get back on to the leading group somehow, but I was gone, only sitting on the bike and pedaling but otherwise totally useless. So Trixi (Worrack) tried what she could, she needed to get away solo, but it didn't happen, so we got away with a disappointing top twenty place only.

No worries, Alex

The Canadian rider, I think it was Alex Wrubleski, came up to me a couple of times during and after the race to apologize that she had caused the crash. I wasn't really in the mood to talk to her at this time, but for sure I want her to know that she really doesn't have to feel guilty at all. Nobody crashes on purpose. So that's alright.

It was certainly bad luck, although I also think you are responsible yourself for your own luck to a certain point. Maybe my instinct was not the best at this day either, being either involved in crashes or never on the wheel when attacks went. But still, the way my German team-mates raced was brilliant. They were all sad after the race, of course, and so was I, but they don't have to be disappointed with themselves.

Their work was really good and reliable; only the outcome was not what we wanted, but that can happen when some circumstances are not perfect. Eva Lutz did the first World's of her carreer and it was fantastic to see her excitement and loyality she put into the race. So even though the result was not even close to our expectations, I will still remember the World Championships in Stuttgart as a good and interesting experience and hope that we can transport this spirit we have through the following years as well.

So, that was it for this year. I think it's not the best timing that the end of the cycling season comes along with fall. Outside it's raining and leaves are falling from the trees, which puts me in a weird mood. It's strange, when cycling has occupied your life for months, and suddenly it's gone and also the people you have to spend all your time with on the road are gone for a while.

I always need some time to get into the rhythm of a different life during the off-season, but I know it will feel the same when the next season starts and I have to leave home again.

Judith

Judith Arndt (T-Mobile Women) celebrates one win of three at the Giro.

Winning at the Giro & Thüringen

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 14, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:00 BST

After some wonderful days Petra and I have spent with friends in Sweden, I am back in business now....

August 15, 2007

After some wonderful days Petra and I have spent with friends in Sweden, I am back in business now. Today, I have started my preparation for the last part of the season. The next 10 days I will spend mostly with my bike and my iPod while putting long hours onto the streets around my hometown Leipzig.

So far the season went quiete well for the T-Mobile Team. As a result we are ranked as the number one team in the UCI ranking by now. I think this is pretty cool, isn't it? Well, at least I am very proud to be part of that, plus I just have fun going to work at the moment!

Although it was not always easy to concentrate on racing with all the doping chaos in men's cycling going on, we were able to get some really cool victories onto our account in the last few weeks.

Lets start with the Giro, where we managed to take three stage wins. One time I crossed the finish line first, and on the pictures and in the result, it looked like I had won the bunch sprint. How cool, since it was always my dream to beat all the good sprinters in a real sprint for a stage win! But I have to admit that both the photos and the result were deceptive. In truth I had attacked with one kilometer to go, went solo, and just made it home before the fast girls caught me. No dream come true, but still a groovy way to win a bike race, I think.

As I came out of the Giro not as tired as I usually would have been after 10 days of racing, I was really looking forward to Thüringen Tour which was supposed to start one week later.

Thüringen is almost a home race for me, since I live only one hour from there. A lot of my friends and relatives come to watch the race every year, which makes me really happy. Also my birthday is always when Thueringen is on, which does not make me happy, since drinking and dancing is cancelled then, of course.

Sometimes I get lovely presents from my team-mates. This year, for instance I got a dancing cow from Oenone. I still wonder what she wants to tell me with that...

Back to cycling, the first two days of the tour were just normal races, but on the third day it got interesting, when a British rider named Emma Pooley disappeared on her own and soon had over 10 minutes to the bunch. The Raleigh Team which held the race lead at this point refused to do their job and remained quiet. As nobody else felt responsible to send some riders to the front to do some chasing it was Nuernberger and us who started to work with 30km to go to keep the damage as low as possible. Pooley won with about five minutes ahead of the next group.

The next day changed everything again, since Noemi Cantele, Amber Neben, and I managed to finish with over six minutes on the next group and 37 minutes ahead of the peleton. My stage win put me into the yellow jersey with some seconds ahead of Cantele and more than half of a minute ahead of Neben, which felt quite comfortable.

Unfortunately, the race lead changed again in the time trial the morning after. I didn't have the best legs and felt a bit tired from the long break away the day before. Neben really surprised me with her strong time trial, and of course, I was a bit disappointed, but I was only 10 seconds behind in the overall which wasn't that dramatic either.

Then, some of the most excellent teamwork ever started. Once we had decided to try to get back the time via bonus seconds my team-mates had to chase down every single rider who wanted to disappear. So the magenta women did their team time trial in front of the peleton, and I was only sitting in waiting to sprint for those stupid seconds. It was nerve-wracking! Amber did a pretty good job defending herself, too. However, after the second last stage she was only two seconds ahead, which promised an exciting last day for both riders and specators.

Once the last stage had started, the picture looked the same as for the stage before: attack after attack, and T-Mobile time trialing in the front to get them all back. I was wondering why all those ambitous attacking riders didn't simply wait until after the bonus sprints, then we would have been more than happy to let them go. But attacking like this, they didn't succeed. They only made it really hard for my team-mates.

Anyways, it was hard, but we managed so that I could sprint two more seconds out of Neben, which put us both in equal time. Fortunately my numbers behind the comma in the time trial were better than Neben's, thats why (after some confusion caused by the announcer who called Amber Neben as the winner to the spectators), I got the overall win at the end. For me, that was one of the most emotional victories ever! I was so excited that I almost passed out on the podium. Such a close race...the last bonus sprint had even been a photo finish between us! Could a race be more spectacular?

After some days of deep breathing we went to Sweden for the seventh World Cup race this year. As we had not won a World Cup so far, we were really determined to change that.

With a few different tactical plans in mind we went optimistic into the race.

Sweden is a nice World Cup. They even have fireworks when we come over the climb the first time, and it's not only a lot of spectators, there are also hay bails formed like people watching us. Its a pretty cool atmosphere there!

The race started very agressive with attacks from the gun, and it stayed like this until the end. The best attack was launched by Chantal Beltman from our team. It was just perfectly timed, plus with Karin Thuerig she got the perfect companion as well. They both were smart enough to stay together until the last climb from where it was about six kilometers to go. When I heard in the radio that Chantal had dropped Thuerig in the climb and was away solo to take the win, I really had a hard time to stay focused on the race. It was just too cool, I got goosebumps and was smiling the whole last lap. The most funny thing was that Chantal was just back from her trip to South-Korea and Bejing, but obviously sitting in airplanes and sightseeing in Asia can't be that bad!

That was it for now. I'm off for long slow miles now, where the bakery stops will be the only excitement.

Judith

Author
Judith Arndt