World Road Championships
September 20th, Salzburg, Austria, 26.12km
The opening event of the 2006 World Championships resulted in a first and third for the USA. In media releases prior to the event (click here to read link) the USA team had been feeling confident that they were in with a medal chance; or possibly more than one.
Kristin Armstrong did not disappoint her supporters. The weather conditions were good after rain in the early part of the week threatened to dampen the event. The first 10 of the 39 riders rode through the intermediate time check at 10.1km. The leaders at that stage were Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) @15.27, Linda Villumsen (Denmark) 16.07 and Loës Gunnewijk (Netherlands) 16.27.
By the time 21 of the 39 riders had gone through the same point Kozlikova had maintained her lead and the local rider Christiane Söeder (Austria) had moved into second, Linda Villumsen (Denmark) was holding third.
Of the first 10 riders to complete the course, Czech Republic rider, Lada Kozlikova, was fastest in with a time of 36.10. In fact, Kozlikova spent the longest in the 'hot seat' after the event - her finish time was fastest on the board for quite some time.
After 26 riders had completed the course there was a new leader. The American, Christine Thorburn had completed the course in 35:34; next change to the top three was when Swiss rider, Priska Doppmann finished in 35:59 and pushed Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) into third.
Nicole Cooke, Britain, completed the course in a time of 36:00. Swiss, Nicole Brändli, was 11th in 36.46. Germany's hope for a medal Judith Arndt was edged out of the bronze with a time of 36.09, to finish eventual seventh.
Karin Thürig, the reigning World Champion was last to go and despite putting in a huge effort on the course missed out as Armstrong, USA, took gold.
On Her Competitors
thought my main competition today would be Karin Thürig, the two-time world
champion and also Christiane Söeder; I felt she was going to have a great
time trial, just because she had a great result last week in a time trial in
France. I knew that if I was going to get any advantage, it would need to be
in the first half [of the course], whereas the second half was a
really fast, downhill part of the course."
On the Course
course had a little bit of everything; it catered to an all-round time
trialist. It had the hill, the technical portions and it also had the real
strong flat sections where you really had to focus and stay tough. I do
think that it was one of the harder time trial courses that I've done. With
all the different technical difficulties today it was easy to keep focussed
because there's always something around the corner. It was pretty technical,
you had to set up every corner correctly and that contributed to seconds
throughout the course."
On the fact that she is older as a champion, in her thirties
"We're all within three or four years of each other and I think that in women's cycling when you're in your thirties you're in your prime. The men maybe start a little earlier. Starting later, women can take time to develop their power. With time trialling, a lot of it is focus and specifically training for the time trial and your power to weight ratio too. But you still see twenty year-old World Champions as well, there's talent all across the board. It just happens that we're all in our thirties."
On her TT Preparations
"I came over from America about four weeks ago. I did the Holland Ladies Tour; that was my special preparation. The Holland Ladies Tour is very fast, it's a lot like motorpacing! My aim was just to stay safe and gain fitness and then I took a few days break and I went to a four day race; the Eurigio Ladies Tour. It was a little bit more hilly, so I was able to ramp my fitness up, gain a higher level of fitness. Then I spent a week in Germany, just relaxing and recovering. I came to Austria on Sunday and rode the course every day, to learn it. Now I'll take a little break and get ready for Saturday."
On her namesake (Lance Armstrong)
am not related to Lance at all. We share our last name. We are not related.
He is someone I look up to; he has done a lot for cycling in America and
around the world. It's a popular name in cycling and I hope that now he's
retired, I can continue its strength and to continue to promote the sport
all around the world. There are similarities, Lance as a triathlete and I
was a triathlete prior to my second career [as a cyclist]."
"I'm very happy with the race and I think that Kristin did a great race. The course was very hard but there was something for everybody there. It was an interesting course; I really liked it, even though it was hard. My preparation was not 100%, I'm very proud that I was very focussed on the race. I didn't think 'maybe I could have done this better'. My radio didn't work, so I never knew where I stood, so I just gave my best. I think the second half was my strength; I went downhill as fast as I could but Kristin went faster."
Why not 100% happy with her preparations?
"This year my goal is the Hawaiian Ironman. I said last year in Madrid I'm not sure if I'm coming to Salzburg, now I'm here, I gave my best and I'm glad I did."
she prepare for Hawaii?
year I had to make my qualification for Hawaii, so I went to Lanzarote in
May, before then, I rode some World Cup races, then I really started my
preparation fro Lanzarote from the end of March. After then, I went to
altitude to do some training, in Switzerland and I did a lot of basic work
there. A lot of cycling, also running and then I went directly to Thüringen
Rundfarht, so I did a block of cycling there. In August, I really started
running hard. I was running around 100km a week and I was also swimming 4 or
5 times per week. In September, I did a half Ironman in Monaco, which I won.
After that, I had to recover because my legs were tired and so for two
weeks, I just ran to recover and did some motorpacing. A week ago, I did a
time trial in France and now I have four and a half weeks for Hawaii, so I
will go to Lanzarote for cycling running and swimming and then I will go to
"I'm very happy to be on the podium, with my team-mate Kristin and my respect for Karin Thürig. In the 2004 Olympics, I was fourth behind Karin, so I'm very happy to finally make it onto the podium."
Results - Top 10
Pos Name / Surname Country Time / Gap
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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