Kristin Armstrong has claimed an incredible third gold medal in the Olympic Time Trial today, narrowly beating Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya into second with Anna van der Breggen taking the bronze medal to add to her gold medal from Sunday’s road race.
The race was run off in difficult conditions with the riders having to contend with heavy rain and wind on the exposed sections on the challenging course.
Armstrong was last to set off and the American rider set the fastest time at the first intermediate check point nearly five seconds faster than the second-placed rider, despite suffering from a nose bleed. However, she slipped back to second behind Zabelinskaya at the next check point.
Zabelinskaya’s participation in the Olympics did not sit well with some of the other competitors including Great Britain’s Emma Pooley who expressed her disappointment that the Russian would be taking part. Zabelinskaya had won bronze medals in both the road race and time trial at the London Olympics in 2012 but tested positive for a banned substance (octopamine) in 2014.
However, Armstrong proved strong enough to ensure that Zabelinskaya was denied the gold as she overcame her defecit at the second check point to take the win by just six seconds for her third consecutive Olympic title after winning in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
She said afterwards that she really pushed herself in the closing kilometres and wanted to overcome the disappointment of Mara Abbott’s near-miss in Sunday’s road race when she was caught in the last 150 metres and missed out on a medal.
“About 5K to go, my coach said ‘Alright, here we go. It’s up to you what colour medal you want,’” Armstrong said. “I thought, I have to give it everything for my team. I have to give it everything for Mara.”
Women’s time trial results
1 Kristin Armstrong (US) 44min 26.42sec
2 Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) 44:31.97
3 Anna van der Breggen (Neth) 44:37.80.
4 Ellen van Dijk (Neth) 44:48.74
5 Elisa Longo Borghini (It) 44:51.94
6 Linda Villumsen (NZ) 44:54.71
7 Tara Whitten (Can) 45:01.16
8 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) 45:22.62
9 Katrin Garfoot (Aus) 45:35.03
10 Evelyn Stevens (US) 46:00.08
11 Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) 46:05.73
12 Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SA) 46:29.11
13 Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) 46:30.93
14 Emma Pooley (GB) 46:31.98
15 Eri Yonamine (Jpn) 46:43.09
16 Trixi Worrack (Ger) 46:52.77
17 Lotta Lepistoe (Fin) 47:06.52
18 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) 47:47.96
19 Anna Plichta (Pol) 47:59.66
20 Hanna Solovey (Ukr) 48:03.35
21 Lotte Kopecky (Bel) 48:09.86
22 Christine Majerus (Lux) 48:16.17
23 Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) 48:17.60
24 Audrey Cordon (Fr) 49:32.87
25 Vita Heine (Nor) 50:23.39