Armstrong Takes Nature Valley Opener

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
St. Paul, Minnesota – Former World and Reigning Olympic Time Trial Champion Kristin Armstrong once again demonstrated her superb talents in the race of truth, taking the best time at the Nature Valley Grand Prix St. Paul Time Trial.  Armstrong covered the course in 14:30, besting her nearest rival by 23 seconds.  Armstrong’s Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 teammates were also strong on the day, with course record holder Allison Starnes taking third and Kristin McGrath taking fifth.
The time trial course was a 6.1 mile out and back format with the final half mile charging up the climb on Ohio Street.  The stage was made even more difficult by the cold and rainy conditions that lasted the length of the race.  All riders used traditional mass-start legal road bikes for the time trial, with Peanut Butter & Co. riders racing aboard Felt ZW and F Series bikes.  
The opening time trial is often determinative of the entire stage race with time gaps difficult to erase on the remaining stages.  After the time trial, Armstrong was already considering the strategy that Peanut Butter & Co. would be employ for the remaining stages.  “My teammate Alison Starnes is in third, Kristin McGrath is also up there, so I think we have some options,” Armstrong said. “I think that I’m the target, but I don’t always have to be the answer. So I’m willing to play.”
The time trial win is yet another of Armstrong’s time trial victories since returning from retirement this year.  The 37-year-old American is on some fantastic form this year, and will look to defend the leader’s jersey with her Peanut Butter & Co. teammates.  
Fellow Felt athlete Andreas Diaz of Team Exergy also put in a very solid ride in the men’s time trial.  The 27-year-ol Columbian rode to ninth on the stage and will look to gain time over the remaining stages.  Diaz has recorded some impressive results on the year, and figures to work with teammate Matt Cooke to move up in the General Classification.