Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Pontal Beach, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 10, 2016
Date Finished: August 10, 2016
|Bronze:||Anna van der Breggen|
It was hard to imagine that there would be any gold medal winner other than Americaâs [Kristin Armstrong], after all, she had won the Olympic title in 2008 and 2012, had two World Time Trial titles to her name and won her fourth US National Time Trial title after coming out of retirement in 2015 â eight years after her last success. She may have been 43-years-of-age the day after the Rio race, but with age came experience. Having retired after Beijing, and for a second time after London, it was another comeback for the American as she sought Olympic title number three, [Linda Villumsen] of New Zealand and [Lisa Brennauer] of Germany were the 2015 and 2014 World Time Trial Champions respectively and offered a serious challenge to Armstrong. Villumsen had six World titles to her name
There were no changes in the format since London 2012, with the 25 starters setting off at 90-second intervals over the 29.7 km circuit which started from Tim Maia Square in Pontal, west Rio de Janeiro. After a 2.5 km ride on the flat, the riders entered the 24.7 km Grumari circuit, which they completed one lap of before the ride back to the starting point.
As expected, Armstrong set the early pace on a rainy day in Pontal, leading through the first split, just less than five seconds ahead of the Italian [Elisa Longo Borghini], the daughter of the Olympic cross country skier [Guidina Dal Sasso], with the Netherlands rider [Anna van der Breggen], the 2015 World Championship runner-up, in third place. Van der Breggen and Longo Borghini had finished first and third respectively in the Rio road race just three days earlier.
Up from sixth to first place at split two was Russiaâs London 2012 bronze medalist [Olga Zabelinskaya], the daughter of the 1980 Olympic road race champion [Sergey Sukhoruchenkov]. Armstrong was 2.88 seconds behind in second place with the Italian Longo Borghini a further 4.1 seconds adrift in third.
It was a case of too little too late for the 2014 World Champion Lisa Brennauer who, despite the fastest time in the final phase could only finish a lowly eighth, while Armstrong clawed back Zabelinskaya to overtake her at the top of the leaderboard and beat the Russian by 5.55 seconds to take her third consecutive Olympic gold medal whilst van der Breggen ousted Longo Borghini to take the bronze medal. As she crossed the line, Armstrong was so exhausted after her final sprint, she collapsed, but she had vindicated her selection onto the US team which many had criticised at the time as she became the first female cyclist, track or road, to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics.
For Zabelinskaya, she raised her arms thinking she had secured gold as she crossed the line only to watch disappointingly as Armstrong deprived her of gold. Had the Russian won, that too would have been controversial as she had returned to the sport shortly before the Games following a drugs ban.
|1||Kristin Armstrong||42||United States||USA||Gold||44:26.42||17:07.93||1||32:43.90||2|
|3||Anna van der Breggen||26||Netherlands||NED||Bronze||44:37.80||17:14.25||3||32:57.08||4|
|4||Ellen van Dijk||29||Netherlands||NED||44:48.74||17:32.35||8||33:05.42||6|
|5||Elisa Longo Borghini||24||Italy||ITA||44:51.94||17:12.83||2||32:48.00||3|
|6||Linda Villumsen||31||New Zealand||NZL||44:54.71||17:25.91||5||33:05.21||5|
|10||Evelyn Stevens||33||United States||USA||46:00.08||18:17.97||15||34:02.06||10|
|12||Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio||30||South Africa||RSA||46:29.11||17:32.34||7||34:17.36||14|
|14||Emma Pooley||33||Great Britain||GBR||46:31.98||17:52.33||9||34:06.22||11|