Baldwin takes US TT title

Chris Baldwin wins the US time trial championship for the second time in three years, while Kristin

Chris Baldwin wins the US time trial championship for the second time in three years, while Kristin

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Chris Baldwin won his second US national time trial championship at the 2005 Park City Cycling Festival on Antelope Island State Park on Tuesday. Baldwin obliterated the 57-rider field with a time of 42-44 over a 34-kilometre course that wound its way along the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

The 2003 champion, Baldwin was the only rider to crack the 44-minute barrier as runner-up Jeff Louder posted 44-00 to take the silver medal and Bernard Van Ulden was a couple of tenths of a second slower in third.

Starting one minute behind Chris Wherry, Baldwin caught and passed the recently crowned USPRO road champion with 12 kilometres remaining - a sign that he was on pace to win for the second time in three years.

"I couldn't see Wherry for the longest time," said Baldwin who was the penultimate rider out of the gate. "I got a little psyched out, but I kept my composure and I really wanted to catch him just to know where I was because I knew he was going to go fast."

Without defending champion David Zabriskie and perennial strongman Chris Horner, who are both in Europe preparing for their first Tour de France, Baldwin felt the race was anybody's. "I thought it was pretty wide open this year, especially with the altitude."

In the women's race - also a 34-kilometre contest along the same stretch of road - Kristin Armstrong beat Amber Neben and 34 other women to take home her first elite national time trial championship.

The defending road race champion, Armstrong clocked a time of 47-15.51, which would have placed her in the top half of the men's field. Armstrong was on target for a national title since mid-May when she posted the best time of the American riders in each of three time trial stages at the Tour de l'Aude, a major international stage race in France. "I had a great ride in France and I've been holding on to the peak fitness for about five or six weeks," said Armstrong.

Pre-race favourite and three-time US national time trial champion Kimberly Baldwin unfortunately never got a chance to factor herself into the mix after suffering a mechanical mishap less that one kilometre into the race. Without mechanical support readily available, Baldwin was forced to abandon.

- Marco Pinotti won the Italian time trial title in Teramo yesterday. The Saunier Duval rider finished seven seconds ahead of Fassa Bortolo's Marzio Bruseghin, with defending champion Dario Cioni 48 seconds down in third.

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