Two-time Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-RideBiker) told Cyclingnews on Wednesday that she finds the UCI Hour Record intriguing, but she'll wait until after the Rio Olympics to decide if she'll give it a try.
US rider Evelyn Stevens set the current Hour Record at 47.98km on February 27 in Colorado Springs. Stevens' attempt was the fourth by a woman since the UCI modernized the rules for the event in 2014, allowing any equipment that is legal for endurance track events.
Sarah Storey fell short of breaking Leontien van Moorsel's longstanding mark in February 2015. Molly Shaffer Van Houweling set a new mark of 46.273km in September 2015, and in January of this year Bridie O'Donnell increased the record to 46.882km before Stevens smashed it in February.
"Huge, huge congratulations to Evelyn, because just reading what it took and the mental mind set she had to have for that day," Armstrong said when asked about the possibility of making a run at the record.
"It's definitely intriguing and I'm all about goals, but for sure with where I am in my life and my career I need to focus on one goal at a time, and to me I think it might be a little distraction before Rio, so I think that decision will be made after Rio," she said.
Armstrong, of course, is currently on USA Cycling's "long list" for the Rio Olympics and has yet to officially make the team. That effort started in earnest last weekend at the San Dimas stage race, where she won the opening time trial and finished first overall.
The 42-year-old is currently racing in Southern Califronia's Redlands Bicycle Classic, the third event of USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour. After one stage, the Twenty16 team leader is second overall, six seconds behind stage 1 winner Scotti Lechuga-Wilborne (Hagens Berman-Supermint).
Thursday's second stage at Redlands finishes with an 8.6km climb to the Village of Oak Glen, where Mara Abbott (Amy D Foundation) took the lead last year and held on for the overall win. Armstrong needs to limit her losses during that stage and then try and gain time during the Friday time trial on an 11.4km out-and-back course.
"Of course the time trial is my thing," Armstrong said. "The course isn't super long, but I hope that there are some seconds gained. But you know [Oak Glen] is a really important stage. Mara put a minute on Amber Neben there last year, and so I have to be prepared to stay on that wheel. I have to recover. I have so sit on and of course I have to climb. I have to bring my climbers."
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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.
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