| Event type

Individual Time Trial, Women

Date 1 August 2012 — 12:30
LocationHampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames, London
Participants24 from 16 countries
DetailsDistance: 29 km
Intermediate 1: 9.1 km
Intermediate 2: 20.4 km

Kristin Armstrong of the United States (no relation to the famous Lance) had been the winner of the individual time trial at the 2008 Summer Olympics and retired following her victory at the 2009 World Championships in order to start a family. She returned in 2011, however, with the goal of defending her Olympic title in 2012 and had strong performances in the time trial in the lead-up to the London Games. A fall that broke her collarbone just over two months before the Olympics, however, jeopardized her chances of competing in the event, but an accelerated recovery left her as the favorite for the top spot on the podium in 2012. Among her strongest challengers were Germany’s Judith Arndt, the reigning World Champion who had been winning cycling medals since her Olympic individual pursuit bronze in 1996, and the Danish-born Linda Villumsen, competing for New Zealand since 2010, who was the runner-up in the event at the 2011 World Championships. Also notable were Emma Pooley, the 2008 Olympic runner-up and the host nation’s best chance for a medal in the event, and Canadian Clara Hughes, vying to become her country’s most decorated Olympian after having won two cycling bronze medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics before switching to speed skating and earning four Olympic medals at the Winter Olympics between 2002 and 2010, including gold in the 5000m event in 2006. The Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos, who just days before had won the road race and who, in 2008, had won the Olympic points race, could not be ignored either.

In a tough field it was once again the lower-ranked Russian Olga Zabelinskaya who, after surprising spectators with a bronze medal win the road race over the weekend, set an incredibly high bar earlier on by finishing the course with a time of 37:57.35. Pooley, Hughes, and Villumsen all failed to best this mark and, with Vos having been overtaken by Arndt (thus making up the 90 second difference in their starts), Zabelinskaya’s time guaranteed her a medal. Arndt slid in at a comfortable seven seconds ahead of her Russian competitor, but Armstrong’s raw power never lapsed throughout the event and she arrived at the finish line over fifteen seconds faster than the German, easily defending her Olympic title.

PosNrCyclistNOCTimeInt 1 (Pos)Int 2 (Pos)
11Kristin ArmstrongUSA37:34.8213:56.38 (1)27:13.96 (1)Gold
22Judith ArndtGER37:50.2914:06.67 (5)27:21.38 (3)Silver
315Olga ZabelinskayaRUS37:57.3514:13.72 (6)27:26.52 (4)Bronze
44Linda VillumsenNZL37:59.1813:57.89 (2)27:18.85 (2)
55Clara HughesCAN38:28.9614:05.27 (3)27:43.75 (5)
66Emma PooleyGBR38:37.7014:06.18 (4)27:47.45 (6)
77Amber NebenUSA38:45.1714:22.69 (7)27:58.24 (7)
810Ellen van DijkNED38:53.6814:28.07 (8)28:16.06 (8)
913Trixi WorrackGER39:20.7314:38.77 (10)28:28.94 (9)
109Lizzie ArmitsteadGBR39:26.2414:33.94 (9)28:30.69 (10)
1123Pia SundstedtFIN40:01.6914:57.26 (11)28:51.53 (11)
1219Tatyana AntoshinaRUS40:12.4915:00.48 (12)29:06.97 (12)
1311Shara GillowAUS40:25.0315:06.65 (13)29:21.67 (13)
148Emma JohanssonSWE40:38.5615:08.71 (14)29:28.54 (14)
1520Audrey CordonFRA40:40.5115:17.33 (16)29:35.51 (16)
163Marianne VosNED40:40.7915:09.20 (15)29:34.95 (15)
1714Emilia FahlinSWE41:15.8615:25.15 (19)30:00.90 (17)
1824Clemilda FernandesBRA41:25.3915:38.68 (23)30:07.69 (18)
1916Denise RamsdenCAN41:44.8115:29.18 (20)30:08.73 (19)
2018Yelena ChalykhAZE41:47.0615:32.46 (22)30:20.74 (22)
2117Tania GuderzoITA41:48.9415:24.96 (18)30:11.27 (20)
2212Noemi CanteleITA41:51.1815:22.85 (17)30:14.56 (21)
2322Liesbet De VochtBEL42:08.2815:42.67 (24)30:31.32 (23)
2421Ashleigh MoolmanRSA42:23.5715:30.30 (21)30:31.38 (24)