Equipe Nürnberger is going into its 15th year in the women's peloton with high hopes for another successful season. It will be looking to three of its star riders to shine again this year: veteran Trixi Worrack, former World Champion sprinter Regina Schleicher and Giro d'Italia winner Edita Pucinskaite. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer caught up with the three speedy women when they took an evening off for the team's season presentation in, where else, Nürnberg, Germany.
The Equipe Nürnberger team has been a dominant force in women's cycling for well over a decade, building a reputation as a formidable squad which can contend in the sprints as well as the hills. From Regina Schleicher's World Championship in 2005 to overall wins in major stage races such as the Tour de l'Aude and Giro d'Italia Femminile, as well as armfuls of World Cup medals, the team has had plenty of success throughout those years.
The heart of the team may lie in the three riders interviewed here, but other women, like current World Cup leader Susanne de Goede and trackie Charlotte Becker, winner of the LA World Cup scratch race, the strength of the squad has been ensured for future seasons.
Edita Pucinskaite has set herself a difficult task this year. The Lithuanian has three highlights for the season: the Giro d'Italia, the Olympic games and the world championships. That presents her with lots of problems, because, for one thing, a lot of other women are aiming at those goals, too. And how to maintain top form for three months? "I know it will be difficult for me," the 32 year-old said. "The most important thing for me for those three months is to stay healthy and to stay in top form."
"This is an important year for me," she said, "and like many others, my main goal is the Olympics." There she has one major advantage over her team-mates, as she is already assured of a spot on the Lithuanian team and does not have to qualify. "It is easier for me, easier than for the German girls. I don't have to knock myself out to qualify." Lithuania has three spots in the road race, and one is promised to her.
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