Parents often bring a toy back to their children from business trips and American Kristin Armstrong will do just that after retaining her Olympic time trial title on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old took time off after the Beijing Games to start a family but could not resist the urge to get on the bike again, coming into the Olympics hoping to give her son Lucas "something to play with".
The double time-trial world champion produced a steady performance over the 29-kilometre course to earn a seat on one of the three thrones installed to welcome the leaders near the finish line, before receiving her medal in the forecourt of Hampton Court Palace with tears in her eyes.
Lucas was there and walked away with his mother and a bouquet in his hands before getting his hands on the medal.
Armstrong averaged over 46 kph over the 29-kilometre course to beat world champion Judith Arndt of Germany, who took silver 15 seconds behind, according to provisional results.
Russian Olga Zabelinskaya, the road race bronze medalist, claimed bronze again, 22 seconds off the pace.
On a course setting off and finishing at the opulent Hampton Court Palace, built by King Henry VIII on the banks of the Thames on the outskirts of London, Armstrong made the best start.
She clocked the fastest time at the first check point after 9.1 kilometers on Burwood road ahead of New Zealand's Linda Melanie Villumsen and Canadian Clara Hughes under threatening skies.
On dry roads, Arndt made a strong impression as she powered past road race Olympic champion Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, who left the start house 1:30 earlier, before the halfway point.
At the second check point after 20.1 km, Arndt was third, eight seconds off Armstrong's pace and eventually had to settle for silver.
British hopeful Emma Pooley took sixth place, with road race silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead finishing 10th and Vos 16th.
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