High Road heads to this year's Tour de L'Aude hoping to improve on last year's third place by Judith Arndt. The team has had a successful spring campaign, with Arndt seizing the World Cup leader's jersey by taking the win in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and a third in La Flèche Wallonne.
The riders will have to change focus now after concentrating on the one-day events, but team director Ronny Lauke is confident. "We're coming into L'Aude after a bit of a break in racing, and it's never easy in any case to change your strategy from one type of event to another. But we're sure we've got it right. Everybody's very motivated."
After a short 3.9 kilometre prologue on Friday, the team is expecting to see its plan of action solidify on the 8.5 kilometre climb mid way through Saturday's stage. "There is nowhere to hide on that climb, it'll be hard enough to tell you a lot about our riders and our rivals and how they'll perform later on in the Pyrenees," said Lauke.
"Once we've come through that stage and got a better idea of everybody's exact condition, we'll work out a long-term strategy for the rest of the race."
"The team time trial on Sunday is another big goal for High Road, too, it's a stage which always pulls the squad together as a unit." Last year the squad snapped up four stage wins as well as a third place overall for Judith Arndt. "That was very good, but this time round, we're convinced we can push it up another level."
High Road for Tour de L'Aude: Judith Arndt, Luise Keller, Alex Rhodes, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Linda Villumsen, Anke Wichmann.