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The other cycling Armstrong

The remake of the movie "Fame" opens this weekend and children of the 1980s might remember that one-hit wonder by Irene Cara and the chorus which implores listeners to "remember my name."

That particular line comes to mind when reading about Kristin Armstrong this week.

Because while it's easy for people to remember her name, they probably don't really know who she is.

Kristin Armstrong, in fact, is the best American female cyclist. And unless you make podium picks for the Vuelta with your friends on Facebook, you may have never heard of her.

She is not related to Lance Armstrong. Nor is she Kristin Richard Armstrong, Lance's ex-wife.

She is Kristin Armstrong -- 36 years old, from Idaho and a world and Olympic cycling champion.

And if you enjoy getting on the bandwagon, you have one more opportunity to do so.

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Kristin Armstrong is retiring from professional cycling after the world championship road race on Saturday. This after Wednesday becoming the World Champion in the Time Trial for the second time in her career. She goes out on top with not only the Rainbow Jersey but with a gold medal from the Beijing Olympics and countless other wins in time trials and stage races.

She earned the respect of the other cycling Armstrong, Lance, who gave her a shout-out on his Twitter account yesterday ("Congrats to Kristin Armstrong!!!"), linking to the story of her winning the time trial.

Armstrong actually came to cycling late. She was a triathlete who was told by her doctors that she had developed osteoarthritis -- a condition where the cartilage in joints wears down over time, especially in hands, hips, knees and spine. Running was out. But cycling was in. And so began her career with a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. By 2006, she was the gold medalist at the same event.

According to an article in the New York Times, Armstrong is sticking to her retirement plans -- unlike so many high level athletes from Lance himself to tennis star Kim Clijsters who retired, had a baby, and returned to win the U.S. Open this year.

Armstrong wants to have a family and is interested in becoming a sport director to help develop a new generation of female cyclists.

Perhaps in her retirement, she'll be able to widen her circle of fame. Or even more importantly, help grow the sport of cycling in the United State, particularly for women who, in typical sporting fashion have fewer competitions, prize money and sponsorship opportunities than their male counterparts.

Granted, none of that seemed to slow the career trajectory for Armstrong.

It's just a shame we're getting to know her upon her retirement.

--- Amy Moritz
Follow Journey to the Finish Line on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amymoritz

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