Armstrong wins third-straight national time trial championship

Somerset, Pa. (July 13, 2007)—Reigning world champion Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Team Lipton) successfully defended her national title in the elite women’s time trial on Friday at the 2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs presented by California Giant Berry Farms. Armstrong, one of the United States’ top Olympic hopefuls for the 2008 Games in Beijing, recorded a time of 30 minutes, 47.08 seconds over the 24-kilometer course to better second-place finisher Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif./Flexpoint) by 50 seconds. Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif./Webcor Builders) placed third, 1:18 off the pace of the world champion.
“Defending this jersey was really important to me,” Armstrong explained. “It was my second priority.”
The first is defending the rainbow jersey she won the UCI Road World Championships in Salzburg last September – a chance she’ll get two months from now in Stuttgart, Germany.
With 59 competitors looking to unseat Armstrong as the national champion, Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Lipton) set the early benchmark in the race against the clock, posting a time of 32:38.16 as the 17th rider across the finish line. Seehafer’s time held up as the one to beat until the seventh to last rider, Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders) surpassed it with a 32:16.58 Abbott, 21, was assured the U23 title with her mark and led the overall standings until Thorburn lowered the lead time to 32:05.17. Neben finished next with a 31:37.57 and briefly held the lead until Armstrong shaved nearly a minute off the fastest time to claim her third consecutive national time trial title.
Last year at Seven Springs, Armstrong won on a longer, more selective and technical course. This year, she earned the stars-and-stripes jersey on a shorter, flatter and straighter route, further illustrating her reputation as one of the world’s top competitors against the clock.
“I like competing on different courses,” Armstrong explained. “Certain riders can master certain courses, but the strongest rider can master different courses consistently. Today’s course was a true time trialist’s course.”
Armstrong and most of the elite women’s field were forced to endure a mid-race rain shower, but with all of the top seeds subject to the same weather, the playing field remained equal.
“I didn’t get to pre-ride the course at all, and then the rain came, but we all had to deal with the same conditions, so it was good and fair. I knew Amber and Christine were motivated to win and the last thing they want to do is get beat.”
With the professional men’s time trial in Greenville, S.C. later this summer as part of the USA Cycling Professional Championships, Friday’s elite men’s race featured 88 of the nation’s top amateurs and saw the top three separated by less than a second. Competing on the same 24-kilometer course as the women, Karl Bordine (Oceanside, Calif./5 Star Fish) recorded a 29:48.27 to capture the national title, while Russ Langley (Kensington, Md./Battley Harley Davidson) finished in 29:48.35 to place second and Alvaro Arnal (King of Prussia, Pa./Human Zoom) rode a 29:48.51 to place third.
In the men’s U23 event, Nick Frey (Princeton, Iowa/HART) surprised a deep field of 112 riders with a 1.3-second victory over silver medalist Graham Howard (Grand Rapids, Mich./Priority Health) in the 24-kilometer event, while last season’s junior 17-18 national champion, Tejay Van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo./VMG Racing) placed third. The 40th rider out of the gate, Frey completed the course in 29:51.41 and his mark managed to hold up as several pre-race favorites and higher seeds finished their rides. Howard finished with a time of 29:52.72, while Van Garderen posted the third fastest time at 30:00.13. Frey’s performance also earns him an automatic nomination to represent the United States at the 2007 UCI Road World Championships in September.
Frey, 20 and a Princeton University student, placed ninth in the event last year, but hoped to win a national title this time around.
“My long-term goal was to win a U23 national time trial championship before I moved up,” Frey said. “I haven’t been able to do a lot of big races so far, but I am sort of a time trial specialist and this was definitely my type of course. It had gradual climbs where you can get into a rhythm and that’s what I grew up on riding in Iowa.”
After finishing second to Van Garderen in the junior men’s 17-18 time trial a year ago, Benjamin King (North Garden, Va./Hot Tubes) redeemed himself with a victory in 2007. As the last of 155 riders out of the gate, King eclipsed the then-fastest mark of 25:35.95, set by runner-up Travis Burandt (Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands Cycling Club), by posting a winning time of 25:20.84 over the 20-kilometer course. King’s mark also earns him an automatic nomination to the national team for the junior road world championships later this summer in Mexico. One of the pre-race favorites to contend for the national title, Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo./TIAA-CREF-5280) rounded out the top three with a time of 25:36.76.  
In the junior women’s 17-18 event, Jerika Hutchinson (Mt. Shasta, Calif.) will earn an automatic nomination to the U.S. National Team for the junior world championships after beating 15 others in her 20-kilometer contest. Hutchinson completed the course in 29:08.91 to win the national title by 29 seconds over Danielle Haulman (Denver, Colo./Hot Tubes). Sinead Miller (Pittsburgh, Pa./UPMC) finished third, just one more second off the pace.
In the day’s closest competition, Michael Dessau (Boulder, Colo./Swift Cycling) earned the national title in the men’s 10-12 category by just .004 of a second. Dessau clocked a time of 17:05.01 over the 10-kilometer course, while second-place finisher Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Capital Bicycle) posted a 17:05.05. In the 32-rider field, Pedro Zaragoza (El Paso, Texas/Major Motion) stopped the clock at 17:38 to take the bronze medal.
In the women’s 10-12 contest, Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif./Central Valley Cycling) earned a stars-and-stripes jersey after posting a mark of 18:47 over the same 10-kilometer course. Sarah Huang (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Velosport) posted an 18:53 to take the silver medal and Michelle Blake (Orlando, Fla./Colavita Central, Fla.) recorded a time 19:00 to place third.  
In the men’s 13-14 event, Ben Gabardi (Collierville, Tenn./Memphis MotorWerks) was the only competitor in the 66-rider field to post a sub-15:00 mark over the 10-kilometer course, stopping the clock at 14:50 to win the national title over Justin Koelbl (Fairfax Station, Va./Warrenton Cycling), who turned in a 15:17 and William Rader (Dallas, Texas/RBM Matrix), who clocked a 15:22.
Fifteen riders contested the women’s 13-14 contest as Jilian Gardner (West Jordan, Utah/Canyon Bicycles) recorded the fastest time over 10 kilometers, clocking a 17:03 to win the event. Ashlyn Gerber (Sanford, Fla./Team Swift) placed second with a mark of 17:22, while Hannah Hayduk (Kutztown, Pa./Team Fuji-Salamander) finished third in 17:26.
The 2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs presented by California Giant Berry Farms continues on Saturday with the junior men’s and women’s 15-16 and 17-18 road races. As in the time trial competition the winner of the men’s and women’s 17-18 road race will earn an automatic nomination to the U.S. National Team for the junior road world championships in August.
2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs presented by California Giant Berry Farms
Champion, Pa.
July 6-17
Elite Women’s Time Trial
1. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) 30:47.08
2. Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.) 31:37.57
3. Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.) 32:05.17
Elite Men’s Time Trial
1. Karl Bordine (Oceanside, Calif.) 29:48.27
2. Russ Langley (Kensington, Md.) 29:48.35
3. Alvaro Arnal (King of Prussia, Pa.) 29:48.51
U23 Men’s Time Trial
1. Nick Frey (Princeton, Iowa) 29:51.41
2. Graham Howard (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 29:52.72
3. Tejay van Garderen (Fort Collins, Colo.) 30:00.13
U23 Women’s Time Trial
1. Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.) 32:16.58
2. Rebecca Much (Chicago, Ill.) 33:15.55
3. Erica Allar (Foglesville, Pa.) 33:45.31
Junior Men’s 17-18 Time Trial
1. Ben King (North Garden, Va.) 25:20.84
2. Travis Burandt (Woodlands, Texas) 25:35.95
3. Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) 25:36.76
Junior Women’s 17-18 Time Trial
1. Jerika Hutchinson (Mt. Shasta, Calif.) 29:08.91
2. Danielle Haulman (Denver, Colo.) 29:36.59
3. Sinead Miller (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 29:37.93
National Champions
Junior Men’s 10-12 Time Trial
Michael Dessau (Boulder, Colo.)
Junior Women’s 10-12 Time Trial
Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif.)
Junior Men’s 13-14 Time Trial
Ben Gabardi (Collierville, Tenn.)
Junior Women’s 13-14 Time Trial
Jilian Gardner (West Jordan, Utah)
Junior Men’s 15-16 Time Trial
Michael Niemi (Gainesville, Fla.)
Junior Women’s 15-16 Time Trial
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.)
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 58,000 members and 2,500 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men’s road). For more information, visit or contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867.

This Article Published July 13, 2007 For more information contact: