Olympic cycling: Kristin Armstrong wins another gold

For many people, Lance Armstrong is the final word in American cycling. And in terms of Tour de France wins, that argument is difficult to dispute.

But when it comes to Olympic performance, another Armstrong – Kristin Armstrong – has him beaten cold.

On Wednesday, Kristin (no relation to Lance or his first wife, who by an uncanny coincidence is also named Kristin) won her second consecutive gold medal in the women’s individual time trial by completing the 18-mile course in 37:34.82, good enough to beat Judith Arndt of Germany, the current world champion in the discipline and the runner-up here in London, by over 15 seconds.

The victory was extra-special for Armstrong, who knew before she launched out on course that the race would be her last as a professional cyclist.

“My mantra was, ‘You have to live with this ride,’” said Armstrong, who also took home gold in Beijing four years ago. “You’re only as good as your last result.”

Armstrong, who turns 39 in less than two weeks, also became the oldest person ever to win a road cycling event at the Olympics; the previous record holder was Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who was about 15 months younger than Armstrong is now when she (Longo) won the road race in 1996 at the Atlanta games.

When it was all said and done, Armstrong took a moment to reflect on her achievement.

“This is an amazing moment,” said Armstrong, who retired briefly after Beijing to focus on raising a family and arrived at these Olympics with her toddler Lucas in tow. “A lot of people ask me what the differences were between this and Beijing. I would say this was a much more difficult journey.”