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Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt - CDM/1.1
Germany, September 14-14, 2008
Stage 2 - September 14: Womens race, 116km
Arndt takes it in solo style
Unstoppable Columbia rider emphatically confirms World Cup
By Ben Atkins
Judith Arndt (Columbia) won the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt, the final round of this year's World Cup. The former World champion attacked the breakaway of which she was part with around 14km to go – just before the bell to signal the last of ten 12.9km laps – and soloed away to finish over a minute clear. Swedish sprinter Monica Holler (Bigla) put in a late surge to take the sprint for second over Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands National Team.
"Every win is big!" exclaimed Arndt to Cyclingnews after her victory, but this one is all the more surprising as the flatness of the course lends itself far more to a sprint than a breakaway. As the final round of the World Cup, however – a competition Arndt has already assured victory of – it means that she takes the title in the season long competition by an enormous margin over Susanne De Goede (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) and Marianne Vos (DSB Bank).
In the race's midway point a group of 19 riders escaped the peloton, consisting of: Vos and Tina Liebig (both DSB Bank), Charlotte Becker, De Goede and Larissa Kleinmann (all Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), Arndt, Alex Rhodes and Luise Keller (all Columbia), Jennifer Hohl, Holler and Andrea Thürig (all Bigla), Susane Ljungskog (Flexpoint), Sarah Grab (Specialized Designs for Women), Liesbeth Bakker (Vrienden Van Het Platteland), Karin Aune (Uniqa), Romy Kasper (German National Team), Wild and Chantal Blaak (Netherlands National Team), and Claudia Meyer (Team Stuttgart).
As the race progressed, the group was whittled down to just ten by successive attacks from a number of riders, but none were able to get away until Arndt on the penultimate lap. As a fast finisher, but not as fast as many of the specialists, she felt that some of the names in that group could present problems at the finish, especially after the Columbia team's presence in the front was reduced to two after Keller withdrew. "The group was not really perfect for us because there was Alex [Rhodes] and me in there and Kirsten Wild and Marianne Vos and Suzanne De Goede, so we attacked a lot in the last two laps to get rid of them and it worked."
"When I attacked and was solo it was maybe 2 or 3km until the climb – there was a little climb every lap [the Burgberg] – and I thought that if I make it to the climb and will be still solo on top of the climb and then I have a good chance, and I was so... I mean it was still hard to go to the finish, but then I thought I had a good chance to stay away."
"For us as a German team... I mean it was a German World Cup so we really wanted to win. We always want to win, but it's great. There's so many spectators every year here, for a German for sure it's good to win. We really wanted to race positive and aggressive – all of us – and we started on the third lap. There were three of us first in the big group, but then Luise [Keller] had to pull out because she felt a bit sick. Then the situation was not as perfect anymore, but really Alex and me really tried to make the best out of it."
On a course so suited to a bunch finish, one might have expected to see a different Columbia rider on top of the podium. Über-sprinter Ina Teuenberg has been seemingly unbeatable for the larger part of this season, her talents were not called upon today, but Arndt always knew that the team had her in reserve. "I don't know, we have a lot of cards to play," she explained. "It's not such a tough course so any one of us could win, like we are all good riders. It's certainly good to have Ina because we know she is the best sprinter, so we always have this card in the back of our heads. So it's always good to have her on the team."
"If you don't have a sprinter on you team then you really have a problem because you have to attack."
For second placed Holler, this result marks a best ever finish in a World Cup race, and is a welcome boost to the Bigla team who had been so active but with no reward in the previous round in Plouay. "I feel very happy," she told Cyclingnews. "It feels almost like a win for me! Yeah, I really needed that and the team really needed that, so we are very happy and the girls worked really good today."
Once Arndt had gone away alone, Holler was faced with the task of staying with the remainder of the break as they tried to pull her back. "The other girls tried to catch her," she said, "and I just tried to follow the other girls and have enough power for the sprint. But then I thought everyone would catch her, but she also has a really good team – Judith – and they did everything just to slow down, and it wasn't easy to catch her again. She was really strong."
Holler was able to call upon the services of two strong team-mates in the group, which proved a great help to her in staying with the group and being able to launch her sprint at the end. "I had Andrea Thürig and Jennifer Hohl, they were making attacks and tried to go in breaks away and [chased] down the [other] ones so we really tried to stay in the groups when someone went and they worked really good today."
Things almost went wrong for Holler though, as the two fast Dutchwomen began to pull away in the closing metres. "They started the sprint really early," explained Holler, "actually I had to brake a little bit so they got a gap – Kirsten [Wild] and [Marianne] Vos – and so at first I was a little bit scared that I wouldn't catch them because they are really fast. Then I could catch them again and just pass them, I just gave everything to win the sprint, and I was just thinking: "Aaah! I've got to sprint, I've got to sprint, I really want to win this!" So I really needed this also, it's one of my last races [this year] – it'll just be Toscana and then I go back to Sweden – so it felt really good."
"I was really surprised that she was that strong today," she said of winner Arndt, but she wasn't surprised the German had tried something with all the sprinters present in the break. "I thought she might go – she and Ljungskog – because if they want to win they have to go away, so that was what I was expecting but she was a little bit too strong. So we couldn't catch her again."
Holler's Bigla team-mate Andrea Thürig has spent most of the season in breakaways – usually alongside Swiss champion Jennifer Hohl, who was also present today – the tall Swiss rouleur was very active to the end and almost managed to take a podium spot for herself. "I think there were always attacks and attacks," she said, "and then we were only ten people and then in the end I attacked again and had a gap, but 100 metres before the finish line the sprinters came and sprint[ed over] me and so I got 7th place, and Monica sprinted to 2nd place."
Two riders inside the top ten – and one in second place – is the best result for the powerful Swiss team in a World Cup race this season. "I think so," agreed Thürig, "this group went and this breakaway and I think we did the best of all we took 2nd and 7th place; I think it was good."
The Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung, like Columbia, managed to place three riders in the breakaway, and the race seemed to be going well for the team in its local race. However, the closing stages did not go to plan and they missed out on the podium with Charlotte Becker in fifth and Suzanne De Goede in sixth. Despite this, De Goede was satisfied with her runner-up position behind Arndt in the overall World Cup.
"I'm really happy with that," the Dutchwoman old Cyclingnews. "I think we did a – until the last kilometre – we did a pretty good race with the team. We were three in the front and I only made a little mistake in the last corner with the sprint. It was a little bit disappointing but I still had good legs. It would have been nice to finish on the podium of course here in Nürnberg. So I'm really happy with my second place, but for the team of course it would have been nice to have somebody on the podium."
"Yeah, it was really good that we were three in the group of course," she continued, "but as I say of course it's nice to be on the podium, but bad luck, sometimes it works like that. I think Judith was just really strong today also. I think we did a good race with the team, but only the result would have been nicer to be on the podium. But I'm really happy with second place in the overall, of course."
With this victory, Arndt emphatically confirms her world Cup title. Her victory was all but assured after victory in Montreal, but mathematically certain after fourth place in Plouay last month. With such a devastating victory today – on a course not suited to breakaways – the German has showed herself to be one of the strong favourites for the World Championships in two weeks time.
"I feel good, but I don't know..." she said thoughtfully. "It will be different because all the good riders will be there, again it's different teams – everyone is riding with national teams – so you have different circumstances. It's also a hard course I think in Varese. We go to Tuscany [for the Giro della Toscana – Memorial Michela Fanini] now and we hopefully have good weather so we can prepare good, and then we'll see."
"They want to announce [the German team] today, but I think we know already who goes, so we will be a good team."
With her current form though, Arndt looks a strong bet for the title, something she won in 2004, the last time the championships were in Italy – and in an Olympic year; an omen that is not lost on her.
"Yeah, but then I won silver at the Olympics!" she laughed. "I don't know, we will see, I hope it will be better than last year: last year everything went wrong at Worlds, so I hope this year goes better."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
1 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia Women 3.14.01 2 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 1.02 3 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Netherlands National Team 4 Marianne Vos (Ned) Team DSB Bank 5 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 6 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 7 Andrea Thürig (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 8 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Team Columbia Women 9 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Flexpoint 10 Karin Aune (Swe) Team Uniqa 11 Tina Liebig (Ger) Team DSB Bank 1.14 12 Larissa Kleinmann (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 2.49 13 Chantal Blaak (Ned) Netherlands National Team 14 Liesbeth Bakker (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 15 Claudia Meyer (Ger) Team Stuttgart 16 Romy Kasper (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 17 Sarah Grab (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women 18 Jennifer Hohl (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 2.53 19 Denise Zuckermantel (Ger) Team Stuttgart 4.57 20 Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Team DSB Bank 21 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Team DSB Bank 8.31 22 Adriene Snijder (Ned) Team Flexpoint 23 Nathalie Lamborelle (Lux) Team Uniqa 24 Jaccolien Wallaard (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 25 Alice Marmorini (Ita) Fenixs 26 Andrea Wolfer (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 27 Martina Zwick (Ger) Team Team Koga-Miyataa-Miyata 28 Monique Van de Ree (Ned) Netherlands National Team 29 Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team 30 Bettina Kuhn (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 31 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 32 Samantha Galassi (Ita) Fenixs 33 Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Team Columbia Women 34 Birgit Soellner (Ger) Team Koga-Miyata 35 Elise Van Hage (Ned) Team Flexpoint 36 Tine Ghyseinck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies 37 Anna-M. Beyer (Ger) Team Stuttgart 38 Linn Trop (Nor) Norway National Team 39 Elke Gebhardt (Ger) German National Team 40 Pelin Cinzin (Aut) Elk Haus 41 Froeydis Waersted (Nor) Norway National Team 42 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) German National Team 43 Stefanie Degle (Ger) Elk Haus 44 Sjoukje Dufoer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team 45 Elin Fylkesnes (Nor) Norway National Team 46 Rosemarie Mayer (Ger) Team Koga-Miyata 47 Martina Ruzickova (Cze) Elk Haus 48 Sandra Dietel (Ger) Team Stuttgart 49 Lisa-Marie Degle (Ger) Elk Haus 50 Suzie Godart (Lux) Fenixs 51 Andrea Knecht (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women 52 Marlen Joehrend (Ger) German National Team 53 Mirjam Hauser-Senn (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women 54 Manuela Gruenzweil (Aut) Elk Haus 55 Kristine Saastad (Nor) Norway National Team 56 Carline Woeien (Nor) Norway National Team 57 Jana Suess (Ger) Team Koga-Miyata 58 Gabrielle Roovers (Ned) Netherlands National Team 59 Nicole Mader (Ger) Team Stuttgart 60 Christina Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 61 Monika Furrer (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women 62 Daniela Pintarelli (Aut) Team Uniqa 63 Stephanie Borchers (Ger) Team Stuttgart 64 Martine Bras (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 65 Stephanie Pohl (Ger) German National Team 8.37 66 Angela Hennig (Ger) Team DSB Bank 67 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 68 Bernadette Schober (Aut) Team Uniqa 69 Loes Sels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team 70 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 71 Trine Schmidt (Den) Team Flexpoint 72 Tanja Hennes (Ger) Team Specialized Designs For Women 73 Saskia Elemans (Ned) Team Flexpoint 74 Anke Wichmann (Ger) Team Columbia Women 75 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team Columbia Women 76 Marit Huisman (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland DNF Evelien Bekkering (Ned) Team DSB Bank DNF Luise Keller (Ger) Team Columbia Women DNF Nadežda Vlasova (Rus) Fenixs DNF Lena Koeckerling (Ger) German National Team DNF Alexandra Noehles (Ger) Team Koga-Miyata DNF Nicole Heine (Ger) Team Koga-Miyata DNS Emma Pooley (GBr) Team Specialized Designs For Women
1 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia Women 365 pts 2 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 232 3 Marianne Vos (Ned) Team DSB Bank 182 4 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Menikini - Selle Italia 125 5 Emma Pooley (GBr) Team Specialized Designs For Women 117 6 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Team Columbia Women 114 7 Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA-Drink Cycling Team 109 8 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 105 9 Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan 101 10 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team Columbia Women 100 11 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Menikini - Selle Italia 90 12 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 88 13 Kori Kelley Seehafer (USA) Menikini - Selle Italia 87 14 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 85 15 Luise Keller (Ger) Team Columbia Women 80 16 Katheryn Curi Mattis (USA) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 75 17 Emma Johansson (Swe) AA-Drink Cycling Team 71 18 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 71 19 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 70 20 Karin Thürig (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 65 21 Oenone Wood (Aus) Team Columbia Women 61 22 Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss RDZ Ormu 60 23 Andrea Thürig (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 60 24 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Menikini - Selle Italia 57 25 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 55 26 Kimberly Anderson (USA) Team Columbia Women 53 27 Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 53 28 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 53 29 Erinne Willock (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 48 30 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Team Columbia Women 48 31 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 46 32 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Ned) Team Flexpoint 44 33 Miho Oki (Jpn) Menikini - Selle Italia 40 34 Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 40 35 Carla Ryan (Aus) Australian National Team 39 36 Martine Bras (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 39 37 Leigh Hobson (Can) Canada 35 38 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan 35 39 Angela Henning (Ger) Team DSB Bank 35 40 Linda Villumsen Serup (Den) Team Columbia Women 35 41 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 35 42 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 34 43 Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Menikini - Selle Italia 34 44 Larissa Kleinmann (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 34 45 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 30 46 Loes Markerink (Ned) Team Flexpoint 30 47 Nikki Egyed (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 29 48 Amber Neben (USA) Team Flexpoint 28 49 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 27 50 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Team Flexpoint 27 51 Julie Krasniak (Fra) France 24 52 Anne Samplonius (Can) Canada 24 53 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Team Halfords Bikehut 24 54 Tina Liebig (Ger) Team DSB Bank 24 55 Karin Aune (Swe) Team Uniqa 24 56 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 23 57 Sarah Düster (Ger) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 23 58 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Team DSB Bank 23 59 Liesbeth Bakker (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 23 60 Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA-Drink Cycling Team 23 61 Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Cmax Dila 21 62 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Australian National Team 21 63 Grete Treier (Est) Gauss RDZ Ormu 20 64 Trine Schmidt (Den) Menikini - Selle Italia 20 65 Iris Slappendel (Ned) Team Flexpoint 20 66 Irene Van Den Broek (Ned) AA-Drink Cycling Team 19 67 Sofie Goor (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 17 68 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 17 69 Regina Bruins (Ned) Netherlands 17 70 An Van Rie (Bel) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 16 71 Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 16 72 Marit Huisman (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 16 73 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 16 74 Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 15 75 Lorian Graham (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 15 76 Gina Grain (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 15 77 Laure Werner (Bel) AA-Drink Cycling Team 15 78 Marlijn Binnendijk (Ned) AA-Drink Cycling Team 15 79 Latoya Brulee (Bel) AA-Drink Cycling Team 15 80 Adrie Visser (Ned) Team DSB Bank 14 81 Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 13 82 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 13 83 Angela Brodtka (Ger) Team DSB Bank 13 84 Edwige Pitel (Fra) Team Pro Feminin Les Carroz 13 85 Catrine Josefsson (Swe) Bizkaia - Durango 13 86 Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) Sweden 13 87 Isabelle Söderberg (Swe) Sweden 13 88 Avalo Lyngbaek (Swe) Sweden 13 89 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 12 90 Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Australian National Team 12 91 Marina Romoli (Ita) Menikini - Selle Italia 12 92 Nathalie Bates (Aus) Menikini - Selle Italia 12 93 Kristine Saastad (Nor) Norway 11 94 Fröydis Waerstad (Nor) Norway 11 95 Caroline Wöien (Nor) Norway 11 96 Elin S. Fylkesnes (Nor) Norway 11 97 Bettina Kuhn (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 10 98 Veronica Andreasson (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 10 99 Lauren Franges (USA) US National Team 9 100 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kaz) Bigla Cycling Team 9 101 Sophie Creux (Fra) France 9 102 Peta Mullens (Aus) Australia 9 103 Serena Danesi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Raxy Line 9 104 Laura Pisaneschi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Raxy Line 9 105 Francesca Tognali (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Raxy Line 9 106 Anna Zugno (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo Raxy Line 9 107 Claudia Häusler (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 8 108 Carly Hibberd (Aus) Australian National Team 8 109 Helja Korhonen (Fin) Finland 8 110 Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Finland 8 111 Riina Miettinen (Fin) Finland 8 112 Anne Rautio (Fin) Finland 8 113 Anita Valen De Vries (Nor) Team Flexpoint 6 114 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukr) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 6 115 Claudia Meyer (Ger) Team Stuttgart 6 116 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) France 5 117 Alison Powers (USA) US National Team 5 118 Romy Kasper (Ger) Germany 5 119 Felicia Gomez (Can) Canada 4 120 Monika Schachl (Aut) Team Uniqa 4 121 Carissa Wilkes (NZl) New Zealand 4 122 Sarah Grab (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women 4 123 Béatrice Thomas (Fra) France 3 124 Carlee Taylor (Aus) Australian National Team 3 125 Monia Baccaille (Ita) Fenixs 3 126 Jennifer Hohl (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 3 127 Giuseppina Grassi Herrera (Mex) Mexico 2 128 Tina Mayolo Pic (USA) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 2 129 Denise Zuckermantel (Ger) Team Stuttgart 2 130 Marie Lindberg (Swe) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 1 131 Yong Li Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 1 132 Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Team DSB Bank 1