The NA female roadies for the Olympic Games

Posted on 09. Aug, 2008 by in news

Today (tomorrow in Beijing) is the Women’s Road Race where the women compete on the same course as the men,  just fewer loops, 2 instead of 7,  of the closing circuits making it 126.34 km long.

Startlists are available here, and gavia wrote up a preview over at PodiumCafe.com, and here’s a brief overview of the North American riders that will participate in the race, and also two New Zealanders that ride for North American trade teams.

The USA will be fielding three women in the road discipline with two for the time trial. Kristin Armstrong, by virtue of her silver medal in the time trial at the 2007 world championships last September, earned the sole automatic nomination to the women’s road team. The 2008 Games will be Armstrong’s second Olympic appearance after competing in the road race in Athens. Armstrong is automatically qualified to contest both the road race and time trial in Beijing. Armstrong has stated that her goal is to win the gold in the TT and have her team podium in the road race.

Amber Neben and Christine Thorburn earned discretionary selections and were nominated to the Olympic Team by a nine-person selection committee according to USA Cycling’s Principles of Discretion.

Representing her country at her second Olympic Games, Thorburn will compete in both the mass start road race and the individual time trial in Beijing. After finishing just out of the medals in Athens four years ago with a fourth-place finish in the race against the clock, Thorburn has consistently been one of the United States’ top international performers in both events. Earlier this year, Thorburn providing some insight into balancing her racing with her career as a physician.  Read more about how Dr. Christine Thorburn will make one last try for an Olympic podium while her husband [Ted] visits his parents’ homeland for the first time.

Heading to her first Olympic Games, Neben will contest the mass start road race alongside Thorburn and Kristin Armstrong. Currently ranked ninth in the world, Neben is one of the most decorated American cyclists on the international circuit. Over the course of the last three years, she’s either won or placed in most major UCI races across Europe. Her list of accomplishments include overall victories in the 2005 and 2006 Tour de l’Aude and the 2007 Route de France Feminin, as well as a second-place finish in the 2007 Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen. Neben also earned back-to-back bronze medals at the 2006 and 2007 USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, finished third overall at the 2007 Giro di San Marino and placed fourth at the 2007 Fleche Wallonne World Cup.

Canada will field three riders Alex Wrubleski, Leigh Hobson and Erinne Willock.

Wrubleski  collected two fourth place finishes on the circuit this season including one at the famed Fleche Wallone race.  She will be Canada’s lone representative in the time trial.

Wrubleski knows anything is possible in a one day race at the Olympics.

‘’I know that nothing is out of reach,’’ said Wrubleski. ‘’We have a really strong team going there.’’

Hobson  earned the spot by posting Canada’s best World Cup result this season with a third place finish last June in Montreal

Willock, a strong climber, has been a national team member since 2000 and raced for Canada at the Commonwealth Games two years ago in Melbourne, Australia. She placed 10th in the time trial and 11th in the road race. At the 2007 world championships she placed 16th.

New Zealand had earned enough points in international qualifying races to have three riders in the women’s road race. But New Zealand lost ranking points in two events which the UCI downgraded because they decided there hadn’t been enough international competition, and were down to only one spot, but after appeal, they were given two spots. 

Joanne Kiesanowski who rides for the Tibco team in the USA and Catherine Cheatley who rides for Cheerwine will be representing their country.

Kiesanowski finished 17th in the 2004 Olympics Road Race in Athens, and was seventh at this year’s Liberty Classic during Philly Week. 

Cheatley, initially selected for her specialist Points race on the track, will now also compete in the women’s road race.

Reminder, the Women’s Road Race Schedule is:

Beijing
Pacific
Event
Date Time Date Time
Sun 10 14:00-17:30 Sat 09 23:00-02:30 Women’s Road Race

Both NBCOlympics.com and CBCSports.ca will be streaming the race live (both feeds a geocoded).

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One Response to “The NA female roadies for the Olympic Games”

  1. kwc

    09. Aug, 2008

    great roundup — CN and VN ain’t got junk, so I’m happy that I can get up to speed. Woohoo Webcor — their hard work to qualify as many riders as they could for the Olympics really paid off.