Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Click for larger image
Photo ©: T-Mobile

The Judith Arndt diary 2007

With her T-Mobile teammate Kimberly Baldwin retiring at the end of 2006, Judith Arndt takes over the reigns to write a diary for Cyclingnews in 2007. Deemed as one of the world's best female cyclists, Arndt already has World Championship titles on both the track and the road - winning the 3000m Individual Pursuit in 1997 and the road race in 2004. She has also proven to excel in longer tours, having won the challenging Tour de l'Aude twice in the last five years.

Arndt is an 18-time German Champion; she has won eight World Championhip medals on the track and placed second in the Olympic Road Race in 2004. As well as her impressive list of results, Arndt is known as a generous rider, willing to play the role of domestique to help her teammates to many victories. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for Judith's account of her 2007 season with T-Mobile.

Index to all entries

May 13, 2007

Time flies when you're winning

It's the same every year: First everybody says: 'Oh well, it's still so early in the season, so many races are still to come!' And then, all of a sudden, we're half way through already and the opening race of the season feels like it was 100 years ago. Time is just a weird and stubborn thing!

The Muur de Huy is seriously steep!
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Our T-Mobile Team started the racing season in the reliably warm and sunny regions of the world: Australia, New Zealand and California. After a few weeks over there we were not only nicely tanned, but we also had 12 victories on our account already. With a big portion of motivation we headed back to Europe to finally hit the real world of cycling, the Dutch and Belgian Classics.

My favourite race is the Fleche Wallonne. Not that I have a particular affection with very steep climbs, but the final kilometre of the Fleche, also called the Muur de Huy, is that awful that you just have to like it if you take bike racing seriously! However, I managed to finish at least on the podium, only beaten by the wonder kids Vos and Cooke.

Our latest race was the Gracia Tour in the Czech Republic. I like racing in Czech, because I think people there are not as superficial. They are really interested in the sport and don't need a big show around. They don't only come to drink beer and eat chips, they come to watch the riders fighting for the win, that's all. And they stand in the rain for ages, only to watch the victory ceremony afterwards. I like that attitude a lot.

The tour went over four days with five stages including a time trial over 18km, where we all could try out our new time trial bikes for the first time. I have to say, that mine was in pretty good shape and drove me into the yellow jersey. Really, I sat down on it and it just felt great! What a relief, since I am a bit difficult with new things (new bikes in particular...).

The Flèche podium
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

At the end of the tour we had won the overall, the points competition and the team competition. I always have a problem to say that I have won something. Simply, because it's not true. You are nothing, without a team in cycling. Especially not in stage races.

A lot of people don't understand, that cycling is team sport, they think that you only want to be modest when you call a win a team victory. I think it's just hard to explain to people exactly what teamwork in cycling looks like. It's not only about getting bottles or protecting each other from the wind or policing breakaways. It's also about learning to trust each other, to motivate or to calm down each other and just to be there for each other.

When you get close to your limits or you get weak you sometimes lose your confidence. Then you need people who tell you that you are the strongest, and give you the feeling that whatever happens they will be there for you, and all will be safe. That's also team work.

Our next races will be the Berne World Cup, Tour de l'Aude and then one of my favourite races: Montreal. It will be a tough month, but I am looking forward to racing for sure, since I've trained so well this year so far.

I just counted my kilometres from January until today, but that number is nothing for a public diary!