Kristin Armstrong’s decision to come out of retirement last year has paid off.
On Thursday, USA Cycling announced its 21-member team heading to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August, and Armstrong, a two-time gold medalist and Boise resident, was among those selected. Armstrong ended a nearly three-year retirement in April 2015 with her sights set on one more Olympic berth.
Armstrong is slated to compete in the women’s road race and the women’s time trial in her fourth Olympic appearance. She won gold in the time trial in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. She was a discretionary pick by USA Cycling and, according to NBC Sports, will be the oldest American female Olympic cyclist in history. The Olympic road race in Rio is Aug. 6 and 7, and the time trial Aug. 10. Armstrong will turn 43 on Aug. 11.
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“I feel really prepared and am really looking forward to the challenging time trial course,” Armstrong told the Associated Press. “We have a very strong road team, and I feel confident that Team USA can put our stamp on this event.”
Messages left by the Idaho Statesman for Armstrong and her husband, Joe Savola, were not returned Thursday.
Since ending her retirement, Armstrong has not had an easy path to her spot on the national team. Armstrong finished second at the Tour of California on May 22 behind Olympic teammate Megan Guarnier. She won her fourth national championship in the time trial last May but finished third in this year’s edition May 27. Carmen Small and Amber Neben finished first and second, but both were left off the Olympic team, prompting some controversy in the cycling community.
“There were a lot of tough selections, and the women obviously were a tough selection. Everybody wants to go to the Olympics, and because of the prestigious nature of it, we have an obligation to fully vet all our criteria and all our nominees and potential nominees,” Jim Miller, vice president of athletics at USA Cycling, told CyclingTips.com. “They work hard to get to this point, and we have an obligation to make sure we are nominating the best team we can.”
Prior to heading to the Olympics, Armstrong will compete in the Boise Twilight Criterium on July 16, a source said. She decided not to race in the event four years ago but did in 2008 before leaving for China.