America's Kristen Armstrong has admitted losing her Time Trial World Champion jersey to German Hanka Kupfernagel is tough, but that she knew the dark horse might come in. The reigning American Time Trial Champion added that she's looking forward to returning to the World Championships in 2008 in an attempt to regain the rainbow jersey.
"After having the world championship jersey, getting second place isn't easy," said Armstrong. "It was a difficult day and it's hard to be world champion every year. Yesterday I told my team-mates the strongest girl will win today because of the technical part and the flats. There wasn't any time to rest during the course. I knew Hanka was a dark horse coming in because she doesn't typically race with us all year, but I knew she was a strong girl."
Armstrong's second place in yesterday's Stuttgart race saw the American claim her third consecutive World Championship podium placing in the discipline, having claimed third in Madrid, Spain, two years ago, in addition to last year's victory in Salzburg, Austria.
While Armstrong failed to retain the rainbow jersey, the runner-up did secure automatic selection for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with her efforts on the 25.1-kilometre course. "I'm looking forward to going for it [world championship] again next year and also in Beijing [at the Olympic Games]," added Armstrong. "I've defended my national title for three years now and have been on the podium of the world championships for the last three years. As long as I'm healthy and injury-free, I feel pretty good about my shot."
Armstrong now has a few days rest before she lines up with her United States of America team-mates in Saturday's Elite Women's road race World Championship event.