Canadian cyclist Tara Whitten won last night’s Exergy Tour prologue. She rides for the American team, Tibco – To the Top. Gillian Carleton, who rides for the Canadian National Team, came in second followed by Team Specialized- lululemon's Clara Hughes.
The three Canadians were at a press conference when Associated Press reporter John Miller asked if they'd heard that Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong had broken her collar bone during the prologue and was out of the Tour. His question was met with shock and sadness.
Idaho's Kristin Armstrong was the last rider to race the two mile prologue. She shot out of the gate to the sound of thousands of people cheering for her. The hometown favorite was on track to set the fastest time on the course which went up Capitol Boulevard toward the Boise Depot.
But at the turn around point, Armstrong crashed hard. She crossed the finish line holding her left shoulder, her face visible with pain. In between tears she told Simon Cope that she couldn't move her arm.
Cope is the sport director for Exergy TWENTY12, which is the team Armstrong rides for. He helped her off her bike and rushed her to the team’s tent. "You know hometown, big crowd. She wanted to win and she would have won," Cope says. "To come in 11th and sit on the ground for 20 seconds... do your own math on that one.”
Cope says that fact means Armstrong is tough. Armstrong’s husband says the cyclist broke her left collar bone and won’t finish the Exergy Tour. In a press release, Teammate Tayler Wiles said, “We are all absolutely heartbroken for Kristin, but we are ready to rally and do this for her and her hometown."
Armstrong is expected to undergo surgery Friday morning and be back training in a few days. Armstrong has been working to qualify for the summer Olympic games in London. The U.S. cycling team won’t be announced until mid-June.