An interview with Judith Arndt, April 8, 2008
...Judith Arndt (High Road)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image) Team High Road's Judith Arndt is one of the most experienced members of the women's peloton.
Nevertheless, victory in this weekend's fifth edition of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen for women was celebrated as if it was her
It is still almost surprising though, that a rider with the experience of Judith Arndt
, with victories that include last year's Thüringen-Rundfahrt and the 2004 World championships, should be so excited by her
victory this week.
"It's like you say: it's a monument in cycling," she
enthused, "and ja, to win this race, it's like winning the World Championships."
This is something that Arndt
can speak with authority about, having taken the rainbow jersey in the road race in Verona in 2004."It's the same, really," she
continued, "because you have to be as fit as it gets and you need a really strong team and you need a lot of luck as well, and if everything falls together then you might be the winner.
believes in celebrating as a team
"In the team meeting the day before," explained Arndt
, "we said we want to be aggressive during the race, because a lot of times during this year we were always in the position that we had to chase, or we were always having to react.
...Judith Arndt (Team High Road)
The chasing pack finished just twenty-one seconds behind Arndt
and Armstrong with Wood taking second in the sprint - and fourth place.
So following that to its logical conclusion; despite the fact that the roll of honour names Judith Arndt
as the winner, should it really say ‘Judith Arndt
, Chantal Beltman, Luise Keller, Katherine Bates, Linda Villumsen Serup and Oenone Wood'?
"I do the World Cups," says Arndt
in response to a question about next week's Ronde Van Drenthe.However, like many of her
main rivals she
won't be deliberately targeting the overall jersey - currently held by Nürnberger Versicherung rider Suzanne De Goede.Her
reasons are the same as we hear from many riders in the women's peloton this year: "Not this year," she
says of the overall competition, "because this year we have the Olympics, that's the highlight.I think it is [the same] for everyone, the highlight," she
Like many, she
is aiming to be on top form come the Olympic Games in August.However, Judith Arndt
does not have the luxury of being able to ignore all other results on the way."I try [to peak for the Olympics], but you know, I'm a professional bike rider for Team High Road, so every race I do I will give everything for the team.But in the back of my head, I want to be fit for the Olympics, and I hope that with the win yesterday, I hope that I have made a big step towards qualifying for [Beijing]."
Beyond the Olympic Games this summer is the matter of the World championships in Varese, Italy.For a former champion, the prospect of a second rainbow jersey is always a possibility, but Arndt
is keen to just look at one target at a time."That's also a goal of course," she
admits, "but first the Olympics.First, all the jobs I have to do for High Road
, then the Olympics if I get qualified, and then of course the Worlds are always a nice thing."Judith Arndt's
golden season was in 2004, when she
took the overall World Cup, the World championships and silver in the Olympic road race.Four years on, it would be no great surprise to see her
repeat or better at least one of these.