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Kupfernagel hammers German national coach

Reigning world champion Hanka Kupfernagel finished only 11th in the Olympic time trial

Reigning world champion Hanka Kupfernagel finished only 11th in the Olympic time trial (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Time trial World Champion Hanka Kupfernagel had sharp words for national coach Jochen Dornbusch, saying "I am personally disappointed in Bundestrainer Dornbusch." She called their work together in the Beijing Olympics weak, and said that he was a "failure".

Kupfernagel said that in Bejing, as in the Worlds road race last year, "they expected me to do all the work in the beginning." In both races, she told German news agency dpa, younger and more inexperienced riders were given preferential treatment, "but that won't happen to me again."

Dornbusch and Kupfernagel have never had a good relationship, and it deteriorated in China. She felt insulted by public comments expressing doubts on her ability in the road race, "and then I was charged with not being a good team player. That is a bad joke."

Burckhard Bremer, sport director for the German cycling federation BDR, said, "She should look to herself first. That sounds like sour grapes after not getting the hoped-for success." He added that as defending champion, Kupfernagel was assured a start place in the Worlds in Varese, but that the road team would not be nominated until after the Rund um den Nürnberger Altstadt race September 14.

Kupfernagel is training alone in the Varese area, using the mountain bike to bring her into form. "I am used to doing a lot of things alone," she said.

The 34 year-old will also look to defend her world title in cyclo-cross. She is not ready to yet think of ending her career. "Maybe I will keep riding through 2012, but I'm certainly not going to keep on as long as French rider Jeannie Longo, who turns 50 in October."

Dornbusch, 51, is leaving the national team at the end of this year to become directeur sportif at the German women's team Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung. He served as national coach for seven years, and in that time the team won three world championship titles: Judith Arndt (road, 2004), Regina Schleicher (road, 2005) and Hanka Kupfernagel (time trial, 2007).