BAKERSFIELD, California (VN) — Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12), the 2008 Olympic gold medalist against the clock, decimated the field at Thursday’s Amgen Tour of California women’s time trial in Bakersfield.
Armstrong covered the 29.4-kilometer course in 39:59, besting second-place Alison Powers (NOW-Novartis for MS) by more than a minute.
“I was thinking it was going to be a good 40-minute effort,” she said just after the podium presentation. “It felt a lot heavier than I ever could have imagined. It tested my mental state and really tested my focus.”
The out-and-back course put a premium on focus and power, as it climbed steadily toward the finish line on a hot, breezy day.
“When you put the heat out there, with the wind and the conditions, it just made for a tough day,” Armstrong said.
Powers and Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) made up second and third, respectively, in the one-off time trial that complemented the men’s stage 5 TT held on the same course.
The win is Armstrong’s second in a row at the Amgen event, after she was victorious in the inaugural women’s time trial in 2011. Armstrong used the Amgen event as a tune up for the London Olympics.
“I think the London course is great,” she said. “I think that today was great practice for London.
“It was 30k today, and London’s about 30k. In America, we’re used to racing for 10-20 minutes. And what happens in that second half is amazing,” she continued.
“I think that having the opportunity to come and just set up for a big one-day time trial with pressure from sponsors and pressure from the team and pressure from spectators – I think it’s really good. It’s not too often that we get to come into a one-day time trial and have that pressure. And pressure is part of competing.”