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Cycling - 17. July 2007.

Armstrong wins third-straight national time trial championship

Somerset, Pa. (July 13, 2007)—. Armstrong, one of the United States’ top Olympic hopefuls for the 2008 Games in Beijing, recorded a time of 30 minutes, 47.08 seconds over the 24-kilometer course to better second-place finisher Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif./Flexpoint) by 50 seconds. Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif./Webcor Builders) placed third, 1:18 off the pace of the world champion.

“Defending this jersey was really important to me,” Armstrong explained. “It was my second priority.”

The first is defending the rainbow jersey she won the UCI Road World Championships in Salzburg last September – a chance she’ll get two months from now in Stuttgart, Germany.

With 59 competitors looking to unseat Armstrong as the national champion, Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Lipton) set the early benchmark in the race against the clock, posting a time of 32:38.16 as the 17th rider across the finish line. Seehafer’s time held up as the one to beat until the seventh to last rider, Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders) surpassed it with a 32:16.58 Abbott, 21, was assured the U23 title with her mark and led the overall standings until Thorburn lowered the lead time to 32:05.17. Neben finished next with a 31:37.57 and briefly held the lead until Armstrong shaved nearly a minute off the fastest time to claim her third consecutive national time trial title.

Last year at Seven Springs, Armstrong won on a longer, more selective and technical course. This year, she earned the stars-and-stripes jersey on a shorter, flatter and straighter route, further illustrating her reputation as one of the world’s top competitors against the clock.

“I like competing on different courses,” Armstrong explained. “Certain riders can master certain courses, but the strongest rider can master different courses consistently. Today’s course was a true time trialist’s course.”
Armstrong and most of the elite women’s field were forced to endure a mid-race rain shower, but with all of the top seeds subject to the same weather, the playing field remained equal.

“I didn’t get to pre-ride the course at all, and then the rain came, but we all had to deal with the same conditions, so it was good and fair. I knew Amber and Christine were motivated to win and the last thing they want to do is get beat.”

In the junior women’s 17-18 event, Jerika Hutchinson (Mt. Shasta, Calif.) will earn an automatic nomination to the U.S. National Team for the junior world championships after beating 15 others in her 20-kilometer contest. Hutchinson completed the course in 29:08.91 to win the national title by 29 seconds over Danielle Haulman (Denver, Colo./Hot Tubes). Sinead Miller (Pittsburgh, Pa./UPMC) finished third, just one more second off the pace.

In the women’s 10-12 contest, Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif./Central Valley Cycling) earned a stars-and-stripes jersey after posting a mark of 18:47 over the same 10-kilometer course. Sarah Huang (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Velosport) posted an 18:53 to take the silver medal and Michelle Blake (Orlando, Fla./Colavita Central, Fla.) recorded a time 19:00 to place third.

Fifteen riders contested the women’s 13-14 contest as Jilian Gardner (West Jordan, Utah/Canyon Bicycles) recorded the fastest time over 10 kilometers, clocking a 17:03 to win the event. Ashlyn Gerber (Sanford, Fla./Team Swift) placed second with a mark of 17:22, while Hannah Hayduk (Kutztown, Pa./Team Fuji-Salamander) finished third in 17:26.

The 2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs presented by California Giant Berry Farms continues on Saturday with the junior men’s and women’s 15-16 and 17-18 road races. As in the time trial competition the winner of the men’s and women’s 17-18 road race will earn an automatic nomination to the U.S. National Team for the junior road world championships in August.

2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs presented by California Giant Berry Farms
Champion, Pa.
July 6-17
Elite Women’s Time Trial
1. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) 30:47.08
2. Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.) 31:37.57
3. Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.) 32:05.17
U23 Women’s Time Trial
1. Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.) 32:16.58
2. Rebecca Much (Chicago, Ill.) 33:15.55
3. Erica Allar (Foglesville, Pa.) 33:45.31
Junior Women’s 17-18 Time Trial
1. Jerika Hutchinson (Mt. Shasta, Calif.) 29:08.91
2. Danielle Haulman (Denver, Colo.) 29:36.59
3. Sinead Miller (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 29:37.93
National Champions
Junior Women’s 10-12 Time Trial
Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif.)
Junior Women’s 13-14 Time Trial
Jilian Gardner (West Jordan, Utah)
Junior Women’s 15-16 Time Trial
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.)
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 58,000 members and 2,500 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men’s road). For more information, visit www.usacycling.org or contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867.

This Article Published 2007-07-13 20:04:45 For more information contact: [email protected]

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