The ferry is taking us from Turku to Stockholm. Our trip continues through Sweden and Denmark. After a 16 hour long drive we arrive somewhere in Germany. I remember seeing some signs saying Hamburg. We arrive dead tired. The Finnish national women team will take part in Pattensee Rundfahrt. It is year 1994.
As a first year elite rider, with only 19 years, it was not easy to race in SUCH a big bunch. Everything was new to me. It was my first big international race. Now I can look back at the time with a smile on my face.
This was a race where I first heard the name Judith Arndt. She won the stage race and I became immediately a big fan of hers. She was so fast. During the following years, we raced a lot against each other, I sometimes managed to beat her. We never spoke a lot, something I regret a little bit today..
Judith Arndt, a big name in women cycling, has an amazing palmares. She continued to win races after I first saw her in Pattensee. Yesterday she finished her cycling career by finishing 8th in the RR World Championship in Valkenburg. A few days before that she won the ITT title. She kept on winning from the beginning to the end and remained very humble throughout her career. A great athlete who is now looking for new challenges. Wishing her all the best and good luck in whatever she will start to do.
Sports is a great way to learn to know people. When I watch the women race, I want to be there myself, when I watch the men race I keep on being nervous how the riders from Freiburg are doing. Johannes and Fabian were great today and did a superb job. I was hoping John Degenkolb would finish on the podium, but I think a 4th place is great as well.
Funny, 5 years ago I was riding Intervals with John Degenkolb on Mallorca. He was 19 back then. Today he finished 4th in the RR World Championship and is one of the big names in the Pro Tour circuit. Time is not standing still 🙂