Arndt takes women’s title

Germany's Judith Arndt went one better than the silver medal she achieved at the Athens Olympics whe


Germany’s Judith Arndt went one better than the silver medal she achieved at the Athens Olympics whe

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Judith Arndt, who won the silver medal at the Olympics in August and stole most of the headlines with a one-fingered ‘salute’ to the German selectors, went one better in the women’s road race in Verona today. The German finished 10 seconds clear of Italy’s Tatiana Guderzo, with Norway’s Anita Valen winning the sprint for the bronze medal. Britain’s Nicole Cooke was prominent in the final stages, but did not go with the winning move on the last lap and finished 24th. Arndt responded to a break by Russia’s Svetlana Bubnenkova and 1999 Verona winner Edita Pucinskaite on the last ascent of the Torricelle climb, and attacked the lead group of eight riders on the descent. Guderzo led the pursuit of the German, but could not get on terms and had to settle for Italy’s second silver medal of these championships. After finishing second in the Olympic road race and second in the world championship time trial on Tuesday, Arndt finally got the better of the competition when she took off from a small group of riders halfway into the last lap and managed to stay ahead until she had crossed the finishline, writes Susanne Hordal. “I?m very happy. This is a great day for German cycling. It’s a shame that there’s only one rainbow jersey because it doesn’t belong to me alone. The biggest part of it belongs to the team, the soigneurs and the mechanics,” said Arndt, after struggling to keep the tears back during the national anthem. The tactics of the German team had been to wait as long as possible and then strike at the last moment. That plan was so succesful that it secured Germany its first gold medal since Ute Enzenauer won in 1981. Tatiana Guderzo could not catch Judith Arndt when she took off but the Italian did manage to keep the rest of the pursuers at bay, resulting in a silver medal. “I wasn’t afraid to be caught to be riders behind me. My team manager kept telling me that could do it, and I didn’t look back. On the other hand, I hoped all the way that I could catch Judith. You have to believe in it and give it everything you’ve got,” said the Italian women. 1 Judith Arndt (Germany) 132.75km in 3.44.38 (35.46kph) 2 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 0.10 3 Anita Valen (Norway) 0.12 4 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 5 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuania) 6 Nicole Brndli (Switzerland) 7 Joane Somarriba (Spain) 8 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Russia) 9 Mirjam Melchers (Holland) 10 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania) 13 Oenone Wood (Australia) 0.41 14 Lyne Bessette (Canada) 16 Deirdre Demet-Barry (USA) 18 Susan Palmer-Komar (Canada) 20 Christine Thorburn (USA) 21 Jeannie Longo (France) 1.07 24 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)