Reigning World Champion Kristin Armstrong won her third consecutive national time trial title by beating Amber Neben with a margin of 50 seconds at Seven Springs on Friday, July 13, 2007.
She now hopes to also defend her Worlds title in Stuttgart. "Defending this jersey was really important to me," Armstrong explained. "It was my second priority." The first is defending the rainbow jersey she won last September at the UCI World Championships in Salzburg last September - an opportunity she will have two months from now in Stuttgart, Germany.
A large field of 59 competitors were looking to unseat Armstrong. Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Lipton) set the early benchmark in the race against the clock, posting a time of 32'38"16. Seehafer's time held up until the seventh-to-last rider, Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders) surpassed it with a 32'16"58, assuring her the U23 title. Armstrong was the last to go and shaved nearly a minute off the fastest time to claim her third consecutive national time trial title.
The course was very different from last year, but it didn't bother the rider from Boise, Idaho. "I like competing on different courses," Armstrong explained. "Certain riders can master certain courses, but the strongest rider can master different courses consistently. Today's course was a true time trialist's course."
Armstrong, and most of the elite women's field were forced to endure a mid-race rain shower, but with all of the top seeds subject to the same weather, the playing field remained equal. Armstrong spoke of the course and the competition, "I didn't get to pre-ride the course at all, and then the rain came, but we all had to deal with the same conditions, so it was good and fair. I knew Amber and Christine were motivated to win and the last thing they want to do is get beat."