Lizzie Armitstead will be awarded a British national championships senior silver medal after British Cycling announced, on Monday, that it has overturned the decision of the race’s Chief Commissaire to only award Armitstead the gold medal in the U23 championship.
The President of British Cycling, Brian Cookson, said that the organisation would be reviewing regulations governing the national championships in order establish a clear interpretation for the future.
“The decision of the Chief Commissaire caused considerable distress to the riders who competed in the race on Saturday and created confusion among spectators,” said Cookson. “On behalf of British Cycling I would like to apologise to Lizzie Armitstead and the other riders competing on the day for the distress caused by this incident.”
Armitstead finished second to Nicole Cooke in the championship race in Abergavenny on Saturday. However, the 20-year-old was shocked to be told, after leaving the U23 podium ceremony, that she would not receive the silver medal in the senior category.
Following the Commissare's decision, Emma Pooley was awarded the senior silver with Catherine Williamson promoted to third place.
Competitors and spectators present at Saturday’s race, including race winner, Nicole Cooke, had also been shocked at the decision.
"It is very sad what happened to Lizzie with the silver medal,” said Cooke, on Saturday. “In sport you have things in black and white and Lizzie was second in the results and a very worthy winner of that medal. Everyone was disappointed and no one wanted to take a medal that wasn't theirs.”
A similar situation occurred at the 2008 championships when Joanna Rowsell claimed the U23 championship after finishing third in the combined championship race. In that instance Rowsell was awarded both medals.
“We received a number of complaints on the [Saturday] and acted swiftly to put the situation right and prevent the same mistake from happening in the Men’s race on Sunday,” said Cookson.
In the men’s race on Sunday, for the second year in a row, Peter Kennaugh took a medal in both categories. After taking silver in the senior race last year, Kennaugh, 20, took bronze in the 2009 senior championships and his second successive gold in the U23 division.