Saturday 25 June 2011

Kristin Armstrong to leave pro cycling?

Kristin Armstrong may be considering retirement following a disappointing third in the USA Cycling National time trial a few days ago, having returned to professional cycling earlier this year after becoming a mother.

Armstrong, who says she is now a mother first and a cyclist second, was involved in the crash that occurred during the penultimate lap of the Nature Valley Women's GP in Minneapolis which saw four cyclists hospitalised with injuries ranging from broken ribs to cuts and bruises. With several other horrific crashes this year - including in the Tour du Suisse which left Mauricio Soler in a coma, the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt in the Giro d'Italia and 86-year-old Elton Hammond in the 10km Summer Senior Games time trial - the UCI time trial champion may have decided that the risks involved in cycling, as highlighted by Mark Cavendish recently, are not worth taking once a rider becomes a parent.

Kristin Armstrong would be much missed in cycling, but some things are more important.
The time trial was "a huge disappointment," the 37-year-old told the Idaho Statesman newspaper. "Last week's five day stage race and crash took more out of me than I anticipated."

"It's a tough one right now, we banked a lot on a good showing here," said husband Joe Savola, before discussing Armstrong's Olympic hopes which appear to now be ruined: "It's considerably harder now. The commitment and sacrifices you have to make to do it are huge." A first place time trial result would have guaranteed Armstrong a place in London in 2012, but she crossed the line a minute after first and second place riders Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben.

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