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Friday, September 29
Zijlaard wins third gold of Games

SYDNEY, Australia -- Mari Holden delivered a silver medal for the United States in the women's Olympic time trial, setting the stage for teammate Lance Armstrong in the men's race.

Leontien Zijlaard of the Netherlands won her third gold medal of the Sydney Games Saturday (Friday night EDT) Olympics, covering the 18-mile women's course in 42 minutes flat.

Holden, of Colorado Springs, Colo., finished in 42:36, powering her way through the two laps. After mechanical problems and a crash eliminated her from Tuesday's road race, Holden wouldn't be denied this time.

"I was definitely motivated today," said Holden, a five-time national time trial champion. "I was just hoping for no flats."

Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli of France won the bronze in 42:52. Karen Kurreck of Los Altos Hills, Calif., finished 16th in 44:33.

By her split times, Holden clearly was in the medal chase. But since she was the fourth of 12 riders in her flight, the only question was whether her fast times would withstand the challenge of later riders.

"In my head, I thought I could win a medal," Holden said. "But I think I was the only one to think that."

It was the second cycling medal for the United States, coming after Marty Nothstein's gold in match sprint.

Holden had the fastest midpoint interval of any rider except Zijlaard. Holden finished the first of two laps in 21:12 and the time held up until Zijlaard came around in 20:46.

Zijlaard has dominated women's cycling in Sydney. She won gold medals in the road race and 3,000-meter individual pursuit, where she set a world record, and took silver in the points race.

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