At some point during the women’s cycling road individual period trial at the Rio Olympicson Wednesday morning, Kristin Armstrong’s nose started to bleed.
The U.S. cyclist had won the race at the Beijinggamesin 2008 and at the Londongamesin 2012, then took a three-year breach to deal with multiple hip surgeries. She was fighting, and Russia’s Olga Zabelinskaya — fresh off an 18 -month suspension for testing positive for banned substances — was close behind her.
Armstrong, who turns 43 on Thursday, was going to have to give everything she had to win.
When she finally passed the finish line, she still wasn’t sure what had happened. “Did I win? ” she asked people around her. She had with a period of 44: 26.42, Armstrong had beaten her closest challenger by six seconds and become the first American girl to claim gold three times in the same event.