Cyclist Linda Villumsen has missed a medal in the women's time trial at the Rio Olympics.

The 31-year-old finished sixth on the hilly 29.9km course which was made even more difficult by rain and wind that hit the city.

"It was pretty rough conditions," Villumsen told NZ Newswire.

"There were gusty winds, and rain, especially on the descents."

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Defending champion Kristin Armstrong won the gold medal with Russia's Olga Zabelinskaya second and Rio road race champion Anna van der Breggen third.

Villumsen, who missed out on bronze by 1.8sec at the London Olympics four years ago, said she felt flat right from the start.

"Not real good - from the beginning, I was a bit tensed up. Usually you're better after 10 or 15km but today it just didn't happen."

The world and Commonwealth champion, Villumsen recorded a time of 44 minutes 54.71 seconds and 28.29sec behind Armstrong who won her third consecutive gold medal in the event.

The Kiwi was fifth through the first time check at the 10km mark, almost 18 seconds behind Armstrong and held that position at 19.7km.

She had targeted an Olympic medal to add to her successes in the event but ended almost 17sec behind Dutchwoman van der Breggen in bronze.

- AAP