By Susan Westemeyer
Friday was a big day for the T-Mobile Team, with three races bringing in two first places, two seconds, and one leader's jersey. Axel Merckx finished second in the second-to-last stage of the Tour de France. This is his ninth and final Tour, as he has already announced that he will retire at the end of the season. "It was a great experience to ride so far ahead of the field," he said on t-mobile-team.com. "The public was yelling my name. This is a great way to leave the Tour."
Back in Germany, sprinter Eric Baumann and Thomas Ziegler took the top two places in the third stage of the Sachsen Rundfahrt. Teammate Andre Greipel had previously won the first two stages, giving the magenta team the hat-trick in the first three stages.
Judith Arndt of the women's team blasted herself to victory in the queen stage of the Thüringer Rundfahrt, winning not only the stage but taking the leader's jersey as well. She was in an early three-rider strong escape group that came in six minutes ahead of the peloton.
The T-Mobile Teams can now count 45 UCI-race wins. The women continue to lead in the "battle of the sexes" with 24 wins to the men's 21. Ina Teutenberg and Judith Arndt both have nine individual victories, while Mark Cavendish leads the men with six.