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APNewsBreak: Armstrong replaced at cycling worlds

Updated: September 16, 2011, 12:25

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong says she's been replaced on the U.S. world championship cycling team after a teammate's protest over her inclusion in the time trial.

Armstrong told The Associated Press on Friday in an email that Amber Neben challenged USA Cycling's decision this month to enter Armstrong as one of two American riders scheduled to compete in the time trial at worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Evelyn Stevens finished first at the U.S. national championships time trial in June, followed by Neben and Armstrong.

Armstrong, the time trial gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games, says Neben won her appeal.

"I landed in Denmark to only find out that I had been replaced,'' Armstrong wrote in her email. "Three hours later in the airport I am on my way home.''

A message seeking comment was left with USA Cycling director of athletics Jim Miller.

Armstrong was selected to the time trial squad by USA Cycling on Sept. 2 after winning the Tour of California time trial in May by 13 seconds over Neben, as well as the Aspen Women's Pro Race in August.

Armstrong was scheduled to compete along with Neben in the road race at worlds, which begin Monday and run through Sunday. The time trial is Tuesday, with the road race on Sept. 24.

Armstrong, who came out of a brief retirement from professional cycling in 2010 after giving birth to her son, had been hoping for a top-three finish in Denmark.

That would have meant an automatic qualification for the U.S. Olympic team bound for London next summer. Instead, she's returning home to the uncertainty of having to qualify in races next year.

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