American Cyclist Kristin Armstrong Repeats Time-Trial Title, As German Judith Arndt Takes Second
Kristin Armstrong’s journey to a second consecutive cycling time-trial title wasn’t easy, but in the end, it turned out beautifully. Following her triumph in Beijing, Armstrong was at a transition point in her life. She was ready to start a family, which she did shortly after. Her son Lucas was born in 2010, which added a new commitment (and excitement) in her life. While she was overjoyed at the birth of her son, she knew she had to resume the long, grueling hours of training for the cycling season. It was evident Wednesday when she crossed the line in London faster than any other female competitor, that Armstrong had done the work, despite the newly experienced long hours of motherhood. It couldn’t have been any sweeter than when young Lucas accompanied her during her victory celebration in London for all to see. The now 38 year-old Armstrong, who normally hides her emotions well, was noticeably overjoyed as her life came full circle.
On top of the added pressure of motherhood, Armstrong was racing in a rainy time trial race a few months prior to London when her tires slipped out and she went tumbling to the ground. The fall ultimately resulted in a broken collarbone. Not for a minute did Armstrong have the thought of dropping out of London. Her doctor gave her clearance to ride and train, which she took full advantage of.
“The last 20 months have been a roller coaster. It was not easy. I want to be an inspiration for all the moms out there,” Armstrong said.
Beginning and ending at Hampton Court Palace, the 16th century court that was once favored by Henry VIII, Armstrong and the rest of the field took off on a relatively flat course. As they rode alone throughout the 29km course, the riders experienced some of London’s most beautiful landscapes, crossing the River Thames twice along the way. Last out of the gate, Armstrong averaged over 46km/hour, completing the course in just over 37 minutes and 34 seconds. 36 year-old Judith Arndt of Germany finished second, bumping Linda Villumsen of New Zealand out of the third place spot. This left Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya in third.
“Today I didn’t know until I crossed the finish line. People try to tell you are on track, but out on the course today, the information I was getting was that it was a close race. I just needed to give it everything if I really wanted it,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong gave it everything she had indeed, and she remains the defending champion for at least four more years. The birth of her son, a broken collarbone and pending retirement couldn’t stop the American’s determination and desire for another victory on the world’s biggest stage. While she has stated admitted that she will not ride in Rio de Janero, Brazil in 2016, Armstrong has once again shown her true character, volunteering her knowledge and experience as a mentor to fellow American riders. The young US cyclists will have no shortage of great coaching four years from now. It’s been a drastic, and at times turbulent, past year and a half, but Armstrong now has two of the greatest prizes cycling has to offer.