After the finish of the women's time trial Hanka Kupfernagel sat down near the Great Wall, clearly disappointed with her 11th place. The reigning time trial World Champion had the ambition to reach the podium, but fell short by 1'43.
She could feel right away that it wasn't her day and the weather didn't help. "The change of weather on Sunday wasn't so good for me." But having inspected the course in the winter, she also knew that it was a very tough course. "I was always a bit skeptical," she explained after the finish. Her preparation wasn't helped with sickness in the spring that delayed her training by five weeks.
Kupfernagel wasn't at her best today, but had no regrets. "I gave it my all. I couldn't have done more." Her tactic in the weather with the high humidity was too start conservatively. She had lost a minute and and a half at the first check. In the second part of the course she was doing better and lost less than 20 seconds versus Armstrong. It meant to move from 16th to 11th, but not more.
Kupfernagel had a simple explanation for the uncertainties of competitions. "I am not a machine where you can just press a few buttons. Neither are the others." As the famous cycling saying goes, sometimes you are the hammer and sometimes you are the nail. Today, Kupfernagel was on the receiving end.
The German kept her head high and was already looking towards the future. "I will be terribly disappointed now for two hours. Then we'll have to see, there will be something new around the corner. I can say that the Olympics were an incredible experience and I am glad I was able to be part of it."
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