— Kristin Armstrong
of the ExergyTWENTY12
team sent a resounding message over the weekend that her 2012 Olympic quest
is right on track. Armstrong won the opening day time trial
and the overall
at the March 1-4 Merco Cycling Classic
in Merced, California.
Armstrong, the gold medalist in the 2008 Olympic Time Tria
l, dominated Merco's 19km time trial on her Felt DA.
She beat second-place finisher Clara Hughes by 55 seconds to take the leader’s yellow jersey, and her Exergy teammates helped her defend that lead over the next two days.
With the overall being decided on points, Armstrong and company had to pull off a savvy performance in the final stage, the Almond Blossom Road Race. In the end they were successful, giving Armstrong solid momentum as she continues through a crucial early-season swing that will decide which riders make the Olympic team.
Meanwhile, another Exergy rider, Logan Loader
of the men’s team, also scored a big win in Merced, winning the final stage with a terrific sprinting performance. Loader, riding his Felt F1
team bike, was in the mix throughout the four-day Merco Cycling Classic, racking up two third-place finishes and the win, which placed him second overall in the final General Classification.