Unstoppable Columbia rider emphatically confirms World Cup
By Ben Atkins
Judith Arndt (Columbia) won the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt, the final round of this year's World Cup. The former World champion attacked the breakaway of which she was part with around 14km to go – just before the bell to signal the last of ten 12.9km laps – and soloed away to finish over a minute clear. Swedish sprinter Monica Holler (Bigla) put in a late surge to take the sprint for second over Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands National Team.
"Every win is big!" exclaimed Arndt to Cyclingnews after her victory, but this one is all the more surprising as the flatness of the course lends itself far more to a sprint than a breakaway. As the final round of the World Cup, however – a competition Arndt has already assured victory of – it means that she takes the title in the season long competition by an enormous margin over Susanne De Goede (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) and Marianne Vos (DSB Bank).
In the race's midway point a group of 19 riders escaped the peloton, consisting of: Vos and Tina Liebig (both DSB Bank), Charlotte Becker, De Goede and Larissa Kleinmann (all Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Arndt, Alex Rhodes and Luise Keller (all Columbia), Jennifer Hohl, Holler and Andrea Thürig (all Bigla), Susanne Ljungskog (Flexpoint), Sarah Grab (Specialized Designs for Women), Liesbeth Bakker (Vrienden Van Het Platteland), Karin Aune (Uniqa), Romy Kasper (German National Team), Wild and Chantal Blaak (Netherlands National Team), and Claudia Meyer (Team Stuttgart).
As the race progressed, the group was whittled down to just ten by successive attacks from a number of riders, but none were able to get away until Arndt on the penultimate lap. As a fast finisher, but not as fast as many of the specialists, she felt that some of the names in that group could present problems at the finish, especially after the Columbia team's presence in the front was reduced to two after Keller withdrew. "The group was not really perfect for us because there was Alex [Rhodes] and me in there and Kirsten Wild and Marianne Vos and Suzanne De Goede, so we attacked a lot in the last two laps to get rid of them and it worked."
"When I attacked and was solo it was maybe 2 or 3km until the climb – there was a little climb every lap [the Burgberg] – and I thought that if I make it to the climb and will be still solo on top of the climb and then I have a good chance, and I was so... I mean it was still hard to go to the finish, but then I thought I had a good chance to stay away."