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Kristin Armstrong is headed to London Olympics, will ride in time trial, road race

Boise cyclist and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong is headed to the London Olympics, USA Cycling announced today, despite having broken her collarbone in a crash at the inaugural Exergy Tour just three weeks ago. Armstrong and Amber Neben were selected for the 18-mile Olympic time trial on Aug. 1; they'll also ride in the women's road race, along with Evelyn Stevens and Shelley Olds. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Idaho's Armstrong headed to London Olympics
By JOHN MILLER, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong was named Friday to the U.S. women's cycling team time trial squad for the London Games, despite having suffered a broken collarbone just weeks ago.

USA Cycling selected Armstrong of Boise and Amber Neben of Lake Forest, Calif., as the team's picks to ride the 18-mile time trial on Aug. 1.

They'll also ride the women's road race on July 29, along with Evelyn Stevens of Boulder, Colo., and Shelley Olds of Groton, Mass.

Armstrong was undefeated in 2012 time trials until May 24, when a fall during the Exergy Tour stage race in Boise left her with a broken clavicle. Stevens won the Idaho race, with Neben placing second overall.

The fall, however inopportune, forced Armstrong to double down on her resolve not to take anything for granted, she said.

"Sometimes, as athletes, we become complacent in what we do," Armstrong told The Associated Press on Friday. "This breaking of the collarbone, I think what it's done is, it made me say, 'Hey, you can be in good form, and you won lots of time trials this year, but it's not going to come that easy to you.' It's pushed me to refocus."

After her crash, Armstrong insisted the break was just a minor setback in her hopes of repeating her gold medal performance from the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

USA Cycling agreed, saying the 38-year-old's performances earlier in the season put her among the athletes with the best chance of standing on the podium in London.

"Armstrong proved to be one of the most dominant time trialists in the world in 2012, winning all eight international-caliber time trials she entered," the sport's U.S. governing body said in a press release.

Armstrong, a two-time world time trial champion who retired briefly from cycling in 2010 to give birth to a son, crashed to the asphalt in the Exergy Tour's May 24 prologue.

She finished the stage in front of fans in her hometown just eight seconds behind the leaders, but had to abandon the competition in tears.

Just hours after her May 25 surgery, however, Armstrong arrived at the second stage of the Exergy Tour to cheer her teammates on and to make a statement — to fans, her competition and the USA Cycling selection committee — that her Olympic hopes were hardly derailed.

"I have a fighter instinct in me," Armstrong said. "Once people mention it may put me out, or there's even a question whether I can come back, you better believe I'm going to prove everybody wrong."

USA Cycling also named the London-bound men's team.

Boulder-based Taylor Phinney, son of Olympic gold medalist Connie Carpenter Phinney and bronze medalist Davis Phinney, will ride the men's time trial.

Phinney will be joined in the road race by Timothy Duggan, also from Boulder; as well as two Washington state riders, Tylar Farrar of Wenatchee and Tejay Van Garderen, of Tacoma; and Bend, Ore.-based pro Chris Horner.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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