Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead shook off injury to claim her third women’s road race title at the British Cycling Championships in Lincoln yesterday.
Armitstead, 26, held off mountain bike specialist Alice Barnes and the defending champion, double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott, to regain her crown. Her victory came just 10 days after the Boels-Dolmans rider was forced to quit the Tour of Britain due to injuries suffered when crashing at the end of the race’s first stage.
“I had it stacked against me today with some strong girls all working against me so I’m just pleased to pull it off,” said Armitstead, who also won the title in 2011 and 2013.
“Lizzie was in a league of her own,” said Trott. “She attacked and that was it. Nobody could follow.”
Armitstead now gets to wear the champion’s white, red and blue jersey in all races for 12 months, and she added: “It means I get to be proud of being British in all the races that I do.”
Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh pipped fellow Isle of Man rider Mark Cavendish in a thrilling contest to defend his men’s road race title. Kennaugh beat the 25-time Tour de France stage winner by five seconds after the pair had broken free of the former’s team-mates Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe, who finished third and fourth.
“That has got to be one of the hardest races of my career,” said Kennaugh, 26, who expects to be named in Team Sky’s Tour de France squad today. “Let the carnage begin in July.”
Etixx-QuickStep rider Cavendish, 30, had to battle the Team Sky trio to challenge Kennaugh on the final steep cobbled climb.