Armstrong at peace
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Armstrong at peace

by Bjorn Haake at 7:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Kristin Armstrong is in the process of retiring from the sport of professional cycling after capping her winning career with  the time trial World Championships  title in Mendrisio, Switzerland, this fall. The American is trying to figure  out the next steps in her life.

Armstrong has quite a few possibilities. "My world has been crazy," she said to AP. "Somebody came up [after the World Championships] and asked, 'Have you ever thought about politics?'"

Armstrong gives herself two years to take advantage of the name she made for herself in women's cycling, in order to take advantage of endorsements.

She is currently seen on billboards for United Dairymen of Idaho, pictured riding with a chocolate milk flame in her wake. She collaborates with the Idaho Potato Commission and is doing anti-drug events with school kids.

In order to advance  a second career, she hired a speaking coach, who will teach her in motivational speaking. She is already scheduled to deliver  Idaho's 2010 commencement address. Of course, she likes to stay involved in the sport, and wants to host  clinics. But her interests cover a wide range and she won't exclude a career as a sports commentator.

Erasing bad memories

Armstrong would have already retired in 2008, but a fifth place at the World Championships made her prolong her career. With the win in September came the calm to retire for good.

"Don't even put it in my head," she said about a possible comeback. "Really. I'm at peace."

Currently, she is trying to get away from it all. Cross country skiing instead of taking bike rides in Idaho. She even received a mountain bike from her husband. Armstrong's coach prohibited her from riding off-road during her career and she is not dismissing the idea of racing a couple of times this winter.

She still maintains that a road comeback, even in local races, is no option. "My expectations would be too high," Armstrong said. "I'd rather not face that."

Armstrong was a swimmer in High School. Her first thought about triathletes was "What are those people doing? They're nuts," she recalled. But in 1999 she finished the Ironman in Hawaii. Only osteoarthritis  led her to give up running and concentrate fully on cycling.

A good move as she won the US championships in time trialing 2005-2007 and the road race in 2004. She won the World Time Trial Championships twice (2006 and 2009). The Nature Valley Grand Prix was hers from 2006-2008 and in 2005 she won the Sea Otter Classic. But her biggest win came 2008 in Beijing, when she won the Olympic gold medal in the time trial.



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