Top ten for Garfoot in time trial

Published 11 August 2016 (AEDT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Katrin Garfoot of Australia starts the Cycling Road Women's Individual Time Trial on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. © 2016 Getty Images

CYCLING - ROAD: Australia’s Katrin Garfoot braved wet conditions and a chest infection to grab a top ten finish in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games individual road time trial in Pontal on Wednesday.

The German-born Garfoot finished ninth overall, just over one minute behind Kristin Armstrong (USA) who emphatically claimed a third straight gold medal in the event just one day shy of her 43rd birthday.

“Considering I had four weeks to prepare myself for not being on the podium, I am pretty happy with my ride,” revealed Garfoot, 34, who entered the Games with a lingering chest infection that hampered her preparations.  

“It was nice to give it my all, I had a good ride and surprised myself with my fitness.

“Technically it was a really good time trial.”

In was wet and wild for the start of the race against the clock in the coastal town on Pontal, with Garfoot the 15th of 25 riders to set out on the testing 29.86km course.

The Grumari Circuit, which featured in both road races, offered a variety of challenges for the field with two climbs, a tough descent and a cobbled section.  Although it was the rain that proved decisive with slippery conditions forcing riders to take extra precaution around the hilly course as a number of riders crashed early.

Eleventh at the first time check, 55 seconds off the pace of Armstrong, Garfoot moved inside the top ten at the 20km checkpoint.

With the rain abating over the final ten kilometres, Australia’s reigning national champion dug deep to power home in at time of 45mins 35.03secs, third fastest of the day that that point.  She later moved into ninth as the final riders completed their run over the course.

“The wet conditions did make it tricky, but it was not the first time trial we have done in the wet, everyone had the same conditions,” said Garfoot who was happy with her top ten finish given her illness leading into the Games.

“I came her with no expectations, normally I have a good idea, but today I had no idea of where I could place.

“My preparation for the Games was the most I have had for any competition, and today was the clearest my lungs have been for about three weeks.

“I am really happy with my ride today.

“I was using today as a good experience and I enjoyed it.”

Just ten seconds separated the podium with Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya (44:31.97) claiming silver, while Sunday’s road race gold medallist Anna van der Bruggen (44:37.80) of the Netherlands continued her great form taking bronze.

Amy McCann 

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