USA Cycling replaces Armstrong on Pan Am roster
USA Cycling replaced two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong on its roster for next month’s Pan Am Championships on Friday after questions surfaced about the criteria used in picking the four-member women’s team.
Up-and-coming star Tayler Wiles took Armstrong’s place in the time trial. The rest of the team heading to Leon, Mexico, remained the same with Carmen Small riding in the time trial, then joining Lauren Hall and Coryn Rivera in the road race.
Armstrong, who retired after the 2012 London Games, recently announced a comeback with an eye on defending her Olympic time trial title at the Rio Games next year.
”I know that nothing is given in this sport. Success takes significant hard work and preparation,” she said in a statement. ”When I made the decision to return I committed myself to this regimen and I don’t want anything given to me. Like always, I want to earn it.”
The dispute over the Pan Am roster began when USA Cycling used recent modifications to its selection criteria that placed greater emphasis on quantifiable metrics, such as a rider’s power output. But some argued the changers were not published in a timely manner, so USA Cycling agreed to reconsider the team using more subjective criteria put in place in 2008.
Under those criteria, the sport’s national governing body considered three broad categories: medal capability, the ability to enhance team performance and future medal capability.
”We always try to ensure that any changes to athlete selection criteria are published well before athletes are impacted by them,” USA Cycling president Steve Johnson said. ”Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case.”
Armstrong, who also won Olympic gold in Beijing, said that she supports the decision of USA Cycling and the riders selected, and that her comeback plans will continue elsewhere.
”My favorite discipline within the sport of cycling is time trialing. They call it the `Race of Truth’ for a reason – it’s you against the clock, and there is no disputing who is the fastest on the road that day,” she said. ”I can’t wait to pin on a number and prove it on the road.”