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US Elite Championships - CN
Park City, UT, USA, June 21-27, 2005
Race 1 - June 21: Elite Women TT, 34km
Armstrong and Much make up for disappointment
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Kristin Armstrong made up for the disappointment her T-Mobile teammate Kimberly Baldwin experienced today by winning the US National Time Trial Championships and taking the stars and stripes jersey for the team. With two time National Time Trial Champion, Baldwin was forced to retire from the race only minutes into her ride due to a mechanical problem, spirits were down among the T-Mobile crew, but at the end of the day, things were looking much better with Rebecca Much adding to the team's success taking out the U23 Time Trial at just 19 years of age.
On the same course as the Olympic Time Trial selections took place on last year with Christine Thorburne taking the win over five T-Mobile riders, it was a woman in pink who would take the reigns today taking her second National Championship title. This year however the course was much longer at 34km and a much longer time trial effort than most of the women are accustomed to. "It was hard," commented Armstrong after the race. "It was longer than I'm used to. I did about 47 minutes and most time trials I've done so far take about 30 minutes."
Armstrong felt good however and managed to make up 30 seconds on the next fastest rider by the turn around point. "I didn't feel that good on the way out," said Armstrong. "It's a tough course and we started into a headwind. But I figured that everyone was in the same boat. At the turnaround, you can see riders coming the other way so you can tell where you're at. I could see that I had made up a little bit of ground at that point."
"The last climb is tough but you also know that when you get to the top, it all downhill to the finish. I knew I had to go really hard up that climb but not too hard. I had a little time up my sleeve and I knew that if I just went up there at a steady pace I would be okay."
Armstrong was pleased with the win but really disappointed for her teammate Baldwin who is so good in the time trial. "It was nice to win the National Jersey in the road race," she said. "But this feels really good too because there's not as many variables in this race."
"I'm really bummed for Kimberly," she added. "I told her that tomorrow's her day. She is riding really well and it's a good course for her tomorrow."
Cyclingnews caught up with Baldwin after the race, who was understandably disappointed with what happened. "It's the build up that makes it so disappointing," she explained. "All the motorpacing, all the questions to my coach and not being able to sleep last night, and then its all over in five seconds. It would have been a really good course for me."
As Baldwin started to roll down the ramp of the time trial she noticed already that her time trial bars were loose. By the first corner they had slipped completely over to the left and were unrideable. "Poor Joe [boyfriend of Armstrong], was the first one to see me bawling hysterically. He tried to find an Alan Key to fix my bars but nobody had one."
"In the end Kristin won and Chris [Kimberly's husband] won so it was a good day. We still got the jersey and that's all that matters."
Adding to the T-Mobile success was Rebecca Much who won the Stars and Stripes in the Time Trial and the Road Race last year in the junior division and graduated into the U23 ranks, only to take another National Title right off the bat. After placing second in the Time Trial at Junior Worlds last year, her results today may not be a surprise for some, but moving up into U23 ranks is not an easy task. Not only that, this "cool kids'" result today would have put her into the top ten in the elite field.
Much was excited after the race in her modest way. "I'm pretty stoked," she told Cyclingnews, "it's really cool. I wasn't expecting it, so I'm really happy. I was in such a good mood today," she added. "I felt really good. It was just one of those days."
Much will race tomorrow in the elite women's road race with her T-Mobile team. The U23 race will take place within the women's elite race, so of course there will be two goals for her. One, to perhaps go for the U23 title herself, but also to help her team go after the elite National Title.
"I guess we'll give the U23 title a shot," she said. "But mostly, I want someone from our team to win the elite race because that's a bigger thing. Especially for Kimberly after what happened today."
Taking second and third place respectively in the U23 division was Stephanie Graeter (Webcor Builders) and defending champion Lauren Franges (Victory Brewing).
1 Kristin Armstrong (T Mobile) 47.15.51 2 Amber Neben (Buitenpoort/Flexpoint) 0.35.99 3 Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) 1.14.10 4 Grace Fleury (Quark Cycling Team) 2.27.86 5 Mari Holden (T Mobile) 2.33.30 6 Kele Hulser (Ford Basis) 3.13.39 7 Kristin Sanders (JC Investors Cycling Team) 3.28.41 8 Kori Seehafer (T Mobile) 3.48.72 9 Catherine Dickson (Bicycle Ranch) 3.57.14 10 Candice Blickem (Quark Cycling Team) 4.12.38 11 Beverley Harper (Unattached) 4.15.35 12 Katharine Carroll (Ford Basis) 4.42.02 13 Chrissy Ruiter (Ford Basis) 5.23.33 14 Alisha Lion (Ford Basis) 5.52.24 15 Brooke Ourada (T Mobile) 6.15.41 16 Kristin Danielson (Ford Basis) 6.33.82 17 Sarah Tilllotson (ABD Cycling Team) 6.40.28 18 Sima Trapp (Subway Pro Cycling Team) 6.55.58 19 Laura Downey (America's Dairyland) 7.10.05 20 Irene Mercer (Tamarack Resort) 7.10.39 21 Merrill Sapp (Landis/Trek/VW) 7.18.09 22 Kim Boester (Unattached) 7.31.52 23 Anna Milkowski (Team Lipton) 7.36.17 24 Maggie Williams (Landis/Trek/VW) 7.49.76 25 Starr Falk (LGBRC/Easton/Specialized) 8.03.58 26 Leah Tingley (Team U.S. Armed Forces) 9.31.18 DNS Lauren Gaffney (Ford Basis) DNS Darcie Strong (WWCC/Otopexy Records) DNS Rebecca Larson (Colavita/Cooking Light) DNF Kimberly Baldwin (T Mobile) U-23 Women 1 Rebecca Much (T Mobile) 50.24.20 2 Stefanie Graeter (Webcor Buliders) 1.34.39 3 Lauren Franges (Victory Brewing) 1.40.17 4 Mara Abbott (Sports Garage) 2.45.29 5 Molly Hummel (Team Dean) 3.25.68 6 Laura Valaas (Whitman College) 3.58.98 7 Erica Allar (T.E.A.M Fuji) 5.01.10 8 Christi-An Hansley (Olympus) 10.57.38 9 Jayne Claire Gillespie (Unattached) 21.55.40