By Greg Johnson
Australian cyclist Alex Rhodes will join compatriot Katie Brown (Vrienden Van Het Platteland) in returning to the event where the horrific crash that claimed the life of the pair's Australian Institute of Sport teammate Amy Gillett took place, after being named in her T-Mobile squad's lineup for the 20th Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen. Rhodes, who will lineup with Australian T-Mobile teammates Kate Bates and Oenone Wood, is returning to the event for the first time since the 2005 accident after missing last year's race.
Rhodes and Brown were amongst the six cyclists hit by an 18 year-old women who lost control of her vehicle, striking the bunch who were on a pre-Thüringen-Rundfahrt training ride at the time of the incident. Brown announced last week the July 24-29 race would be her last in Europe for the time being, with the rider planning on returning to Australia to continue her recovery.
Rhodes will be riding for German powerhouse Judith Arndt, who has enjoyed a strong season to date. Arndt missed last year's race after suffering from a viral infection.
"Judith has proved herself to be the most reliable tour rider this year with excellent results in Tour de l'Aude and Giro and I expect another awesome performance from her at Thueringen, especially as it is so close to home for her", said T-Mobile director sportif Anna Wilson.
Arndt will also have the resources of fellow German Anke Wichmann and the squad's highest placed rider at last year's event, American Kim Anderson.
"I finished the Giro feeling really good and I'm in top-fit condition. I want to win here," said the 2004 World Road Race Champion.
T-Mobile Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen roster: Kim Anderson, Judith Arndt, Kate Bates, Alex Rhodes, Anke Wichmann, Oenone Wood.
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