BOISE -- The 1984 U.S. Olympic women's cycling gold medalist is in Idaho for a big stage race -- as a spectator.

Connie Carpenter, who won the first Olympic women's road race in Los Angeles, is on hand for the Exergy Tour that starts Thursday in Boise.

Carpenter, married to Olympic bronze medalist Davis Phinney, told reporters on Wednesday how she once raced for dollar bills, less than the Exergy Tour's $100,000 purse.

Carpenter's son, Taylor Phinney, is currently racing in the Tour of Italy, a European race.

When she's at the stages there, Italian spectators who recognize her greet her with Mama Phinney.

Carpenter predicted Idaho's race, which features Boise-based Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong and ex-world champion Amber Neben, will be dramatic.

Both are shooting for the 2012 London Olympics.

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