U.S. road cyclist Amber Neben won her first world championships time trial in eight years, the gold medal coming three months after she lost an arbitration case in a bid to be named to the Rio Olympic team.
“My heart just hasn’t stopped beating since I finished,” Neben said more than an hour after she finished in steamy Doha on Tuesday. “I think this one is more special because of everything that’s happened between 2008 and now.”
Neben, 41, became the second-oldest world champion in the event, behind French legend Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who took gold in 2001 at age 42, according to reports.
She completed the 18-mile course in 36 minutes, 37.04 seconds, topping the Netherlands’ Ellen van Dijk by 5.99 seconds. Katrin Garfoot of Australia was third.
American Kristin Armstrong, who at 42 won her third straight Olympic time trial title in Rio, was not in the worlds race Tuesday.
Armstrong was one of four women on the Rio Olympic road cycling team, which did not include Neben, who finished seventh in the time trial at London 2012.
Carmen Small and Neben finished first and second, respectively, in the U.S. Championships time trial May 27 but were passed over for the Olympic team. They argued they deserved one of three discretionary spots on the Olympic road team, but their appeals were denied in arbitration cases on July 14.
Megan Guarnier earned an automatic spot on the Olympic team as she earned bronze in the 2015 Worlds road race, while discretionary places were given to Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens and Mara Abbott.
Armstrong and Stevens were the riders chosen for the Olympic time trial, while all four competed in the road race.Follow @nzaccardi