De Goede happy and successful at Equipe Nürnberger

By Susan Westemeyer Suzanne de Goede (Equipe Nürnberger) took the lead in the women's UCI World Cup...

By Susan Westemeyer

Suzanne de Goede (Equipe Nürnberger) took the lead in the women's UCI World Cup last Sunday, placing sixth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen round. The Dutch rider is now looking forward to defending her World Cup leader's jersey at the Ronde van Drenthe this weekend, and says that wearing the jersey "is really cool!". De Goede is excited to wear the prestigious shirt in her home country this weekend. "We are going to try and do a good race with the team Saturday, to get a good result and keep the jersey."

The Dutch rider, who will celebrate her 24th birthday next week, is new to the team this season, and brought in its first victory of the year, with the first stage of the Women's Tour of New Zealand. "That felt good, of course," she told Cyclingnews. "I wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for some early racing to get ready for the Spring Classic season in Europe. And we did some good racing with the team, so then it is fun to get a win in one of the first races of the season!"

She rode for T-Mobile Team last season, an experiment which just didn't turn out right. "I have always been in the same Dutch team since I started cycling and last year was my first year in an international team. I found out after some time that T-Mobile was just not the right team for me, so that's why I wanted to go to a different team," she explained why she left after only one year. "I still had some good results and races, but not as in the years before. That shows that something was different for me as in the years before. I found out in the middle of the season that I have exercise-induced asthma, and also the change of teams was maybe not perfect for me."

De Goede feels comfortable in the Nürnberger team. "We work really good together, have strong riders and we also have fun. If you have this all together you have a good team."

Her top goal this year is the Olympic Games in Beijing. "I can only do my very best and then the national coach will decide in June who will be in the Olympic team. Marianne {Vos} is sure to go and I think with two more we can have a team who works well together and will be very strong to represent the Netherlands! And I of course hope to be in this Olympic team!"

Leading up to that, though, "I will race the World Cups and also Tour de l'Aude and then when the Olympic team is announced, we will make the rest of the plan for the season. Making the Olympic team is the biggest goal and next to that also the Worlds in Italy," she continued. "At the beginning of the season I didn't make the World Cup as my goal but only to ride good World Cup races with the team. Now that I have the jersey, we will try to keep it for as long as possible!" Along the way, she wouldn't mind repeating her past wins in both the national road and time trial races.

De Goede attributes her success this season not only to the new team, but also to a new training plan, which included doing some cyclo-cross in the off-season. "When I was a junior, I also did cyclo-cross and track racing in the winter and this was always good for me. That is why I wanted to try it this winter again also." She admitted, "I find only training in the winter a little bit boring, I like to do some racing sometimes."

(Additional reporting and research provided by Susan Westemeyer.)

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