Armstrong takes fourth in final pro race
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Armstrong takes fourth in final pro race

by Conal Andrews at 1:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Kristin Armstrong, the winner of the world championship time trial three days ago, has said that fourth place in her final race was a little difficult to accept.

The USA rider had a very strong showing today but unfortunately had to use much of her strength in chasing back on after a puncture. Armstrong was chasing for quite some time, finally returned to the bunch and then went clear on the final lap with former champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands) plus Italian riders Tatiana Guderzo and Noemi Cantele.

Guderzo attacked and aided in part by the close marking behind by Cantele, stayed clear to the finish. Vos outsprinted Cantele for second some 19 seconds later, while Armstrong had to be content with fourth.

"I think that with a road race, with any kind of race, you have to have a little bit of luck on your side," she said after the race. "This is what I had two days ago at the time trial. I had a perfect day and I had a little bit of luck and today the Americans' goal was to win the gold medal.

"You have to try and you have to take chances and my team mates worked perfectly for me and we made a really hard race. Unfortunately my team mate Amber (Neben) had really bad luck today - she crashed and went to the hospital, and so I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders."

Armstrong said that the other USA riders rode well in support of her. “I was up against Vos and Cantele for the sprint, and they are very good sprinters. I think it was a good race, but fourth place is a little bit difficult." Her puncture undoubtedly cost her energy and may have been the difference between fourth and first.

Armstrong has had a glittering pro career with a number of important victories. These include the 2006 and 2009 world championship time trial titles, multiple national championships plus the Olympic time trial in Beijing. She considered retirement last season but ultimately decided to have one final year with the Cervélo Test Team.

She said that she hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that today was her final race. "I don't really have much feeling,” she said. “Everywhere I go people say one more year, one more year. I just want to enjoy the moment and the day with my team and tonight and think about all this stuff later."

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