Soeder excited over Austria's second medal ever

Austria won its second medal ever in the World Championships, 20 years after its first one. In 1987,...

Austria won its second medal ever in the World Championships, 20 years after its first one. In 1987, it won a bronze medal in the men's four-man time trial, an event that is no longer held. And this year Christiane Soeder won a bronze in the women's individual time trial.

"I couldn't sleep at all, because I was still so excited," she said of Wednesday night. "The medal was a total surprise. I can only now slowly believe it. We will certainly have to celebrate this fully!" said the 32 year-old, who rides for Team Raleigh Lifeforce and also happens to be a doctor, on

She was able to do so well, she said, because she took the first round of the course easy. She was then able to kick it up a notch, "because I still had enough power. That made the difference. I concentrated on a higher pedaling frequency in my training. That's why I rode the World Cup track race. It has paid off."

Her third place this year was a definite improvement over her 16th place from last year at home in Salzburg, Austria. "Many things came together then, an unlucky chain of negative circumstances. And I wasn't in worse form than this year, but everything has to come together in order to win a medal. If one thing doesn't work out, then you fall into a vicious cycle and just keep going down."

Does she see herself now as a medal favourite for the Olympics in Beijing? "Now that I've got one third place, of course I want to repeat it or improve it in the Olympics. But that is hard to plan. This year everything went almost perfectly, except for one cold. Next year I will prepare myself differently again, but take the positive out of this season with me and hope that I stay healthy."

Soeder has another chance to take a medal this year, as she will also be riding the road race on Saturday. "That is a whole new situation, that you have to go in differently. There are many tactical variations that I will have to discuss with my team-mates, who arrive today [Thursday]. The tactic depends to a certain extent on how fit the rest of the team is."

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