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LAS VEGAS (VN) —Is Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong mounting a comeback for an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal?
That’s the rumor that’s been swirling around the American cycling community over the past several weeks — and it’s a rumor Armstrong would not refute when asked for comment Wednesday at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas.
The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, who mounted a comeback from motherhood and retirement to take a second Olympic gold medal in London in 2012, Armstrong was in attendance at the CrossVegas cyclocross race, alongside Nicola Cranmer, manager of the Twenty16 pro women’s team, as well as the K-Edge-Felt cyclocross team.
Asked about the odds that she might be on the start ramp of the Olympic time trial at the 2016 Olympic time trial in Rio de Janeiro, Armstrong only smiled. “Well, we do have a team called 2016,” she said.
Armstrong, who lives in Boise, Idaho, will turn 43 on August 11, 2016, one day after the Olympic TT in Rio. Her son, Lucas, will celebrate a fourth birthday next week.
Cranmer hinted that Armstrong was considering a comeback, saying only, “Ask her why she’s here at [Interbike].”
Asked for a straight yes or no answer, Armstrong was coy, instead discussing the hip problems that led her from triathlon to cycling over a decade ago.
“I had three hip surgeries this year — one in August, one in September, and one in March,” Armstrong said. “So I’m just trying to heal from those. Within a year of retirement, I started doing cross training, and I had so much pain. I couldn’t live with it. The femoral heads weren’t round any more, and tore the labrum on both sides, and they had to go in and shave down the femoral head.”
Armstrong also won two world TT championships, in 2006 and 2009. Following her retirement, German Judith Arndt — the silver medalist in London — won a pair of titles, in 2011 and 2012, but has since retired. Current world TT champ Ellen van Dijk will attempt to defend her title in Ponferrada, Spain, on September 23.
Asked one last time for a direct answer, Armstrong, again, simply smiled. “Did you see what [CrossVegas winner] Meredith Miller did tonight? That was awesome.”