Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames, London
Date Started: August 1, 2012
Date Finished: August 1, 2012
Kristin Armstrong of the United States had been the winner of the individual time trial at the 2008 Summer Olympics and retired following her victory at the 2009 World Championships in order to start a family. She returned in 2011, however, with the goal of defending her Olympic title in 2012 and had strong performances in the time trial in the lead-up to the London Games. A fall that broke her collarbone just over two months before the Olympics, however, jeopardized her chances of competing in the event, but an accelerated recovery left her as the favorite for the top spot on the podium in 2012. Among her strongest challengers were Germany's Judith Arndt, the reigning World Champion who had been winning cycling medals since her Olympic individual pursuit bronze in 1996, and the Danish-born Linda Villumsen, competing for New Zealand since 2010, who was the runner-up in the event at the 2011 World Championships. Also notable were Emma Pooley, the 2008 Olympic runner-up and the host nation's best chance for a medal in the event, and Canadian Clara Hughes, vying to become her country's most decorated Olympian after having won two cycling bronze medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics before switching to speed skating and earning four Olympic medals at the Winter Olympics between 2002 and 2010, including gold in the 5000m event in 2006. The Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos, who just days before had won the road race and who, in 2008, had won the Olympic points race, could not be ignored either.
In a tough field it was once again the lower-ranked Russian Olga Zabelinskaya who, after surprising spectators with a bronze medal win the road race over the weekend, set an incredibly high bar earlier on by finishing the course with a time of 37:57.35. Pooley, Hughes, and Villumsen all failed to best this mark and, with Vos having been overtaken by Arndt (thus making up the 90 second difference in their starts), Zabelinskaya's time guaranteed her a medal. Arndt slid in at a comfortable seven seconds ahead of her Russian competitor, but Armstrong's raw power never lapsed throughout the event and she arrived at the finish line over fifteen seconds faster than the German, easily defending her Olympic title.
|1||Kristin Armstrong||38||United States||USA||Gold||37:34.82||13:56.38||1||27:13.96||1|
|4||Linda Villumsen||27||New Zealand||NZL||37:59.18||13:57.89||2||27:18.85||2|
|6||Emma Pooley||29||Great Britain||GBR||38:37.70||14:06.18||4||27:47.45||6|
|7||Amber Neben||37||United States||USA||38:45.17||14:22.69||7||27:58.24||7|
|8||Ellen van Dijk||25||Netherlands||NED||38:53.68||14:28.07||8||28:16.06||8|
|10||Lizzie Armitstead||23||Great Britain||GBR||39:26.24||14:33.94||9||28:30.69||10|
|23||Liesbet De Vocht||33||Belgium||BEL||42:08.28||15:42.67||24||30:31.32||23|
|24||Ashleigh Moolman||26||South Africa||RSA||42:23.57||15:30.30||21||30:31.38||24|