Olympics: Pushing Their Pedals to the Medals

Spunky, savvy and high tech, U.S. cyclists go into top gear

In 1980, Connie Carpenter, 27, a former U.S. amateur speed skater and the 13-time national women's cycling champion, retired from cycling in a country that paid little attention to and even fewer dollars for training. Then in 1981, hearing that for the first time a women's road race was scheduled for the Olympics, Carpenter returned to training for what she called "the one last race of my life." Last week, exhausted and just meters from the end, she lunged her bike, like a kid...

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