Columbia-HTC pleased with women's season

Director Lauke impressed with Teutenberg and others

The Columbia-HTC Women's Team concluded a successful season in 2009 with 46 total wins.  The team's director Ronny Lauke had nothing but praise for his riders, including Ina Teutenberg, Judith Arndt, Linda Villumsen and Kim Anderson.

"I'm very proud of the riders for what they achieved, both as a team and in terms of the winning results," said sports director Lauke. "If you look back on the year, we did very well. Equally importantly, we battled through some really difficult times together when key riders got injured or sick. Everybody really stepped up to make sure we stayed united and on track. The team spirit this year really has been amazing."

"Look at Ina-Yoko Teutenberg," said Lauke. "She won 24 races this season" - more than any other professional bike racer in 2009 - "and she's still progressing as an athlete, winning races like the Tour of Flanders and the overall general classification at Redlands. People always thought that Flanders was too hilly for Ina, but she's proved them totally wrong. She's a dedicated, 100-percent professional, and the results are there for everybody to see."

After a highly successful 2008, Columbia-HTC's Judith Arndt suffered three major injuries this season, but as Lauke points out "every time, Judith fought back to regain her status as one of the bunch's top riders.

"She crashed in April, breaking her scaphoid, but still came back to win three stages and the overall of the Bira race in Spain. After that she took a very difficult stage of the Giro as the finale to some amazing teamwork by Columbia-HTC. Then when Judith had another crash in July, breaking her arm, she bounced back again to put in a strong ride at the worlds. Other riders would have cracked under the strain and pressure of so many accidents in one year."

Lauke singled out Linda Villumsen and Kim Anderson as two of the Columbia-HTC riders who have moved up a level this season. "Linda's victory in the Tour of Thuringen, one of the hardest stage races there is, was a particularly exceptional result. She really went for it there. I think Linda has made a big move in the right direction.

"I was equally pleased for Kim, one of the most reliable team workers in the peloton, who finally got an opportunity to win a race for herself in the Route de France. One good thing about a tough year like 2009 is that the entire team is even more united than they were before. The riders are stronger, both individually and as a unit, and we're going to see more positive results from that in 2010."

This 2009 wins brought the team's three-year total to 152.

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