Felt Sponsored athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong has been named Velo magazine’s “2012 International Women’s Time Trialist of the Year” in their January 2013 issue. This continues the string of success for Felt Racing athletes after John Degenkolb’s confirmation as Velo‘s “International Breakthrough Rider of the Year” for 2012.
Kristin Armstrong had a strong run-up to the early season by winning time trial stages in both the Tour of Holland and the Tour of New Zealand before continuing her time trial conquest in the Amgen Tour of California. She went on to win the San Dimas, California Stage Race and the U.S. Merco Classic. Her form only seemed to improve as she won three road stages at SRAM’s Tour of the Gila along with the time trial stage to clinch the overall win at Gila. By summer it was clear that Armstrong was an incredible force in timed races and had ridden herself into overall excellent form.
Problems surfaced in late May when Armstrong crashed during a short two-mile prologue time trial in the Exergy Tour stage race in Boise, Idaho. Armstrong was negotiating the second of two 180-degree turnarounds on the flat, fast course when her front wheel washed out. She landed heavily on her left shoulder breaking her collar bone. Armstrong showed incredible courage during the incident, remounting and completing the time trial in 13th place, the fifth fastest American rider despite at least 20 seconds spent on the ground following the crash. With typical persistence she had her collarbone surgically repaired the following day. Armstrong was dismissive of the set-back in her Olympic run-up choosing to regard the accident as “additional rest” before London.
While Armstrong’s recovery went well the specter of a cursed season rose again when she crashed in the Olympic Road Race in London days before her main event, the individual time trial. This mishap was only a scare as she remounted under wet, grey London skies with little more than a bruised elbow. Her determination to take Gold in the individual time trial remained apparently un-bruised.
The time trial day dawned ominously grey in London on August 1. Climbing into the start house on her Felt DA, Armstrong carried the scars of her two crashes but the cool headed determination of a time trial virtuoso. With precision and class that conjured images of a Jacques Anquetil or Jeannie Longo, Armstrong knocked down time check after time check around the course, increasing her lead at each accounting. By the end of affairs she was a staggering 15 seconds to the good of her silver medal runner-up, Germany’s Judith Arndt. Her Gold Medal status as the best Olympic female individual time trial rider was more than confirmed with this, her second Olympic Gold Medal in the time trial.
Armstrong’s selection as Velo magazine’s “2012 International Women’s Time Trialist of the Year” serves as an outstanding bookend to her career as she announced her retirement from cycling at the end of the London Olympics.