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Armstrong Initiates Women’s Pro Challenge

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Aug 21, 2015 – Kristin Armstrong, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist for the individual time trial, got to hear ecstatic screams in Breckenridge today from the crowds who came out in full support of the women who made history by breaking the 27 year drought of the women racing on the same road as the men.

USA Pro Challenge/Meg McMahon

Armstrong of Twenty16-Sho-Air proved what she knows how to do best and that’s ride in the red – pushing full speed – on all levels to take the win in the TT during Stage 1 of the inaugural Women’s USA Pro Challenge . It was a tight fight to the finish and her Twenty16-Sho-Air teammate, Allie Dragoo was only beat by only 12 hundredths of a second in Breckenridge, Colorado.

“I love the challenge that was presented today,” said Kristin Armstrong. “I don’t look at Allie as losing to me. I look at Allie as an amazing talent coming up on the peloton. I hope that if and when I make the Rio team, it will make me feel really good to be able to retire and to be able to pass that throne.”

Armstrong added, “Because I am a veteran time trialist I have one speed and that’s go red line the entire time. Going in 10,000 feet the strategy is a little different. I don’t have that filter. I don’t have filter to ease into it.”

Dragoo was in good spirits about losing by such a small margin and said, “I’m not going to let it eat me alive. I rode my best. It could have been a gust of wind. It could have been something so small. You never know what could have happened. All I can do is be proud of myself and be happy for Kristin. It was a good ride.”

The 8.5 mile time trial course featured 64 women. It was the first stage of a major women’s race since the 1988 Coors Classic.

For the jerseys, Kristin Armstrong (USA) of Twenty16-Sho-Air takes the Smashburger Race Leader Jersey. While Allie Dragoo (USA) of Twenty16-Sho-Air got her hands on the Lexus Sprint Points Jersey. Mickey Abigail (USA) of UnitedHealthcare takes home the Sierra Nevada Queen of the Mountains Jersey. The Best Young Rider Jersey goes to Chloe Dygert (USA) of Twenty16-Sho-Air and the Strava Most Courageous Rider Jersey goes to Breanne Nalder (USA) of DNA Cycling P/B K4.

Stage 2, the women’s peloton will ride 58 miles from Loveland to Fort Collins, Colorado, a route that includes a big climb up Buckhorn and descent of Rist Canyon.

1. Kristin Armstrong (21’24″59)
2. Allie Dragoo (21’24″71)
3. Amanda Miller (21’48″55)

Saturday, Aug. 22 – Loveland to Ft. Collins
Start Time: 11:35 a.m. MT
Estimated Finish Time: 2:00 p.m. MT

A gentle roll-out through Loveland will let the women riders settle in before this day of racing turns extremely competitive. Once west of Loveland things tilt up and keep climbing for nearly 20 miles as everyone tests their legs on the climb of Buckhorn Canyon. But if the climbers want to win this day they will need to hold off a charging field as the stage furiously goes through Rist Canyon and the 18 miles back into Fort Collins. Can the climbers hold off the sprinters or will Fort Collins be treated to a mass field sprint by some of the fastest women in the U.S.