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Neben replaces Armstrong in Worlds time trial

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Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad)

Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad) (Image credit:
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2009 women's time trial world champion Kristin Armstrong (United States of America).

2009 women's time trial world champion Kristin Armstrong (United States of America). (Image credit: Sirotti)

2008 time trial world champion Amber Neben will take the place of Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong in the upcoming UCI road world championships in Copenhagen.

Neben was initially passed over for the spot behind US national time trial champion Evelyn Stevens, but filed a protest to overturn the selection committee's decision.

"Following consideration of the protest USA Cycling's Selection Committee reconvened and, after further review, named Amber Neben as the discretionary nominee to compete in the women's time trial alongside Evelyn Stevens, an earlier announced automatic qualifier based on her time trial win at the national championships," a USA Cycling press release stated.

USA Cycling's selection procedure for the time trial lists a top three finish in the prior Worlds as its top criterion, but neither Neben, who placed fourth in Geelong, nor Armstrong, who did not compete in 2010, met that standard. A current US national championship is the second consideration, and Neben placed second to Stevens, while Armstrong was third.

With neither rider meeting the top two standards, the decision came down to the committee's discretion, and as of September 2 they had deemed Armstrong as the rider more capable of a medal. USA Cycling would not speak to what factors led to the reversal of that decision.

Armstrong, twice a world time trial champion (2006, 2009) and the Olympic champion (2008), made her comeback to the sport this year following the birth of her first child, and has raced a largely domestic calendar this season. Her victories include a time trial victory in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the overall wins in the Sea Otter Classic, Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and Aspen Snowmass stage race.

Neben is ranked ninth in the UCI rankings, recently took second to teammate Judith Arndt in the Chrono Champenois and was part of HTC-Highroad's winning team time trial squads for the Open de Suède Vargarda World Cup, Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen and City Trophy Elsy Jacobs in addition to overall wins in the San Dimas Stage Race and Redlands Classic. She also placed third in the Pan American Championship and Chrono Gatineau time trials, proving herself "medal capable".