Olympic cyclist with local connection places seventh in road race

Cyclist Shelley Olds will compete in the women's road race on July 29 at the London Olympic Games. All riders start together and the first to finish the 140-kilometer trek earns gold.

Former Gilroy resident Shelley Olds – who has trained in South Santa Clara and San Benito counties for the Olympics – placed seventh Sunday in the women’s road race in London.

Marianne Vos of The Netherlands won the women’s road race at the Olympics in London on Sunday morning. Boise cyclist Kristin Armstrong finished 35th just behind a large group that was well behind the three medal winners.

Vos was one of the pre-race favorites to capture gold in the 86.9-mile road race. She finished in 3 hours, 35 minutes and 29 seconds and bested the field of 66 riders.

Vos, Great Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead and Russia’s Olga Zabelinskay pulled away from the field with about 23 miles to go.

Olds was with the leaders for a while, but was eventually dropped as the three leaders built up a lead of more than 40 seconds at times.

Armistead took the silver and Zabelinskay took the bronze.

Armstrong, competing in her third Olympics, never challenged for the lead. She was involved in a minor crash about two-thirds of the way into the race, but she recovered and was able to rejoin the peloton. She finished the race in 3:36:16.

Americans Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben – the champion and runner-up, respectively, of the inaugural Exergy Tour in Idaho – were also in the race. Olds finished seventh, Stevens 24th and Neben 36th.

Armstrong now can focus on her signature event, the time trial. She is the defending Olympic gold medalist in the event. The race is Wednesday.

South Valley Newspapers contributed to this report.

Leave your comments