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The USA's Kristin Armstrong took the first rainbow jersey of the Salzburg World Championships when she beat defending time trial champion Karin Thrig by 26 seconds in the women's event that opened the championships on Wednesday morning. A good morning for the United States saw them take the bronze medal through Christine Thorburn.
Britain's Nicole Cooke finished fifth, 56 seconds behind 33-year-old Armstrong. Cooke is the favourite for in Saturday afternoon's road race title.
Like her namesake Lance, Armstrong came into the sport via triathlon, and last year won the bronze medal in Madrid. "I came over from the US two weeks ago and raced the Tour of Holland, which is really flat and fast, and then rested before I raced another stage race there, but which was more hilly. That really helped push up my fitness ahead of coming to Salzburg," said the rider from Idaho.
Armstrong was down seven seconds on the Czech Republic's Lada Kozlikova at the 10km intermediate checkpoint, but steamed on from there as Kovlikova and the rest fell away. Asked about the nominal link with seven-time Tour winner Lance, Armstrong said: "Lance is someone I definitely look up to. We share the same name, we both came from triathlon and, like him, I'm a really determined competitor. He's done a lot to promote cycling in the US and around the world. Now that he's retired hopefully I can continue (to do so)."
Second-placed Thrig was not too disappointed at losing her title, pointing out her main focus this year is on trying to win a deal at next month's Hawaii Iron Man. "I'm really happy with my performance, and Kristin deserves to be champion," said the Swiss woman. "Unfortunately, my preparation for the race wasn't 100 per cent. As I've said since the start of the season, my focus is Hawaii. I'd love to focus just on the Iron Man, but I just can't seem to stop cycling!"
1 Kristin Armstrong (USA) 26.1km in 35.04 (44.64kph)
2 Karin Thrig (Switzerland) 0.26
3 Christine Thorburn (USA) 0.29
4 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland) 0.55
5 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) 0.56
6 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan) 0.59
7 Judith Arndt (Germany) 1.04
8 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) 1.06
9 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 1.19
10 Amber Neben (USA) 1.27
- This afternoon's men's under-23 time trial was won by Belgium's Dominique Cornu, who finished 37 seconds ahead of defending champion Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia) over the 39.5km course. The bronze medal went to France's Jrome Coppel.
1 Dominique Cornu (Belgium) 39.5km in 49.28 (47.90kph)
2 Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia) 0.37
3 Jrome Coppel (France) 0.45
4 Alexandre Filippov (Russia) 0.52
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) 1.13
6 Stefan Schaefer (Germany) 1.21
7 Logan Hutchings (New Zealand) 1.25
8 Simon Spilak (Slovenia) 1.27
9 Peter Latham (New Zealand) 1.29
10 Kristjan Koren (Slovenia) 1.36
23 Ian Stannard (Great Britain) 2.09
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