Yesterday Kristin Armstrong secured her third consecutive Gold Medal for the USA, coming first in the Olympic Time Trial the day before her 43rd Birthday.
Armstrong collapsed at the finish, later greeted by her son as she hugged him. She held up three fingers, to demonstrate her three victories in Beijing (2008), London (2012) and Rio (2016).
Time trialling has long been known as a sport where age of optimum performance continues much later than road racing. The nature of the race against the clock means an ability to know oneself, control effort, and sustain a steady pace are paramount.
Armstrong came to cycing aged 27, and hers is not the only similar story – long term victor of the UK domestic 25, 50 and 100 mile time trials Julia Shaw started riding in her 30s and claimed a Commonwealth medal aged 45.
Victory for Armstrong didn’t just inspire the USA – as Olympic medals often do for a nation. The win inspired entire generations of female (and male!) cyclists.
Here’s a look at just a few of the reactions we spotted and received…
Average age of top 10 in the women’s TT today?
Almost 32 years old. Says a lot about “development”. Don’t ditch riders with potential at 25!
— Dame Sarah Storey (@DameSarahStorey) August 10, 2016
— Hayley Simmonds (@hayleyrsimmonds) August 10, 2016
Inspiration to us older ladies especially those who have started racing aged 37 🙂 https://t.co/L3IAMl7thM
— Gemma Hobson (@Percival1st) August 10, 2016
— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) August 10, 2016
Kristin Armstrong is 7 years older than any other rider in either men’s or women’s TT fields. I like her style. #Rio2016
— Michael Hutchinson (@Doctor_Hutch) August 10, 2016
It’s not just Twitter where it’s all happening – female riders on our Facebook page were bowled over with Armstrong’s performance – we particularly loved Sarah Croucher’s comment: “A massive inspiration! Made me go faster on my TT tonight!”
We want to say a HUGE well done to Armstrong. And to anyone inspired by her performance? Get out there and kick ass!