Evelyn Stevens

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Cycling: USA’s Armstrong makes it three-straight golds in Olympic time trial

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“Did I win? Did I win?”

Those were the first words out of Team USA cyclist Kristin Armstrong after finishing the women’s time trial Wednesday at the Rio Olympics.

She did, yes, and for the third-straight Games.

Armstrong took gold after pedaling a 44:24.42, winning by 5.5 seconds over silver medalist Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia and almost 12 seconds better than Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands.

USA rider Evelyn Stevens finished sixth.

Kristin Armstrong, Taylor Phinney round out U.S. Olympic cycling team

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USA Cycling filled out its 21-member Olympic team Thursday, and making the cut was two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong. At 42 years old, she will become the oldest U.S. Olympic female cyclist of all time, according to sports-reference.com.

Armstrong was not a lock to make the team despite winning gold in the women’s time trial at the 2008 and 2012 Games. She will turn 43 on Aug. 11, one day after the women’s time trial in Rio. The women’s road race is Aug. 7. Armstrong placed 35th in the road race four years ago, and 25th eight years ago. Her Olympic debut came in the 2004 Athens Games, where she finished eighth in the road race.

“I feel that I’m still podium capable,” Armstrong told Cycling News last month. “I feel I’m still the most consistent time triallist in the U.S.”

Armstrong was a discretionary pick for the women’s road team along with Mara Abbott and Evelyn Stevens (2012 Olympian). Megan Guarnier had already clinched a berth with a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.

Highlighting the men’s road team is Taylor Phinney, who’s set to make his third Olympic appearance. It’s a well-deserved berth for the 25-year-old, who endured a long recovery from a severe crash in the 2014 USA Cycling National Road Championship. He suffered a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula and was out of racing for more than a year. Phinney returned to competition in August 2015, and last month won this third time trial national championship.

Phinney placed fourth in both the time trial and road race at the London Games. He competed on the track in the Beijing Games, finishing seventh in individual pursuit.

In Rio, he’ll be joined on the men’s road team by 32-year-old Brent Bookwalter, who’ll make his Olympic debut. Top American cyclist Tejay van Garderen withdrew from Olympic consideration earlier this month due to Zika virus concerns.

The U.S. BMX team will be led by Nic Long and Alise Post, who both competed in the London Games and previously earned Rio berths with World Championship podium finishes. Corben Sharrah also previously had a spot after winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Brooke Crain and Connor Fields, who will both make their second Olympic appearances, were the discretionary selections announced Thursday.

The U.S. mountain bike team will consist of Lea Davison (2012 Olympian), Howard Grotts and Chloe Woodruff. No U.S. mountain bikers earned automatic selections through previous competitions.

The U.S. track cycling team was announced in March and includes Matt Baranoski, Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert, Sarah Hammer (2008 and ’12 Olympian; two silver medals in London), Bobby Lea (2008 and ’12 Olympian), Jennifer Valente and Ruth Winder.

MORE: Nic Long, Alise Post make U.S. Olympic team after BMX Worlds medals

Kristin Armstrong just misses podium, Olympic spot in World Championships comeback

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Two-time Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong finished fifth in the World Road Cycling Championships time trial in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday, in her biggest race since the London Olympics.

Armstrong, a 42-year-old mother, retired after repeating as Olympic time trial champion in 2012 and becoming the first U.S. woman to earn multiple Olympic cycling gold medals.

She unretired (for the second time in her career) earlier this year.

In Richmond, Armstrong finished fifth in 40 minutes, 50.45 seconds, which was 20.58 seconds slower than New Zealand winner Linda Villumsen on the 19-mile course. The Netherlands’ Anna van der Breggen took silver, with German Lisa Brennauer capturing bronze after winning the title last year.

Armstrong was the top American, six seconds faster than Evelyn Stevens, who took sixth after earning bronze last year.

Armstrong was the second starter of 44 in Richmond. She posted the fastest time early in the afternoon and then waited about two hours before somebody posted a faster time.

A top-three finish would have clinched a 2016 Olympic spot for any American. They can still earn spots on the team for the Rio Games at a later date.

Also Tuesday, three-time Czech Republic Olympic speed skating champion Martina Sablikova finished 12th for the second straight year. Sablikova qualified for the Rio Olympics, according to Czech media.

The World Road Cycling Championships continue Wednesday with the men’s time trial, featuring 2012 Olympic fourth-place finisher Taylor Phinney. Universal Sports (12:30-2 p.m. ET), NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra (2-4 p.m.) will have coverage.

MORE: World Road Cycling Championships broadcast schedule

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