Two silvers for Germany as World champions denied in Olympic time trial
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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Two silvers for Germany as World champions denied in Olympic time trial

by Ben Atkins at 5:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
 
Third medal for Judith Arndt as Martin rides through the pain of his fractured hand

judith arndtGermany’s World time trial champions were both denied Olympic glory in today’s time trials at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, in south west London. Both Judith Arndt and Tony Martin took silver medals in their respective events, behind defending champion Kristin Armstrong of the United States, and local rider, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain.

Arndt has won virtually every major race in her long, distinguished career, but will retire at the end of the season never having been Olympic champion. Nevertheless, the 36-year-old was content to have taken another silver medal.

“I’m super happy,” Arndt said after the finish, according to the German Cycling Federation (BDR). “It was super-hard, but it is supposed to be; I was totally dizzy at the finish.”

This latest silver was Arndt’s third in Olympic Games, after her bronze in the Individual Pursuit in Atlanta 1996, and silver in the road race in Athens 2004. It also goes a long way to erasing the memory of the infamous middle finger ‘salute’, which she aimed at the German selectors for the non-inclusion of her then partner Petra Rossner; whom she still maintains would have won Gold if she had been selected.

“I’m very happy to have a medal again in my last games,” she said. “I started a little slower and had a lot of time to make up on the last little rise.”

tony martinArndt was 10.29 seconds behind Armstrong’s time at the first intermediate time check, after 9.1km - and was only fifth fastest - but closed to within 7.42 seconds by the 20.4km point. The German was unable to match the defending champion’s speed in the final 8.6km however, and - although she rose from third to second - was 15.47 seconds slower at the finish.

While Armstrong announced her retirement - for the second time - immediately after the race, Arndt will see out the rest of the season, and will defend her time trial World title in Limburg in September.

Martin’s build up to the race was far from easy; he was knocked off his bike while out training in April, fracturing his cheekbone, jaw, eye socket, arm and shoulder, then he fractured a scaphiod bone in his left hand in a crash during the first stage of the Tour de France. The 27-year-old soldiered on to the first long time trial of the race, but has been riding in pain ever since; partly because of this, Martin finished exactly 42 seconds behind Wiggins.

“I’m still speechless,” said German team manager Jan Schaffrath of the Panzerwagen’s result. “This is a performance that you can only salute.

“Tony is in the form of his life; after all that has happened this season, his performance was fantastic.”

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