Lizzie Armitstead’s (Boels–Dolmans) 2016 spring race schedule has been confirmed with the World Champion planning on peaking twice this season – first for the Spring Classics and then for the Rio Olympic Games in August.
Armitstead is currently training with her Boels–Dolmans teammates in Spain, with the squad’s 2016 presentation set to take place on Friday.
The current World Champion and 2015 World Cup winner has already announced that she will skip the Ladies Tour of Qatar at the start of next month but she will showcase her rainbow jersey later in February at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. After making her 2016 road racing debut in Belgium, the 27-year-old will then race Strade Bianche, before heading to the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe in mid-March.
Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio and Gent-Wevelgem Women then feature before Armitstead lines up for the Women’s Tour of Flanders – her first major target of the season.
Armitstead won the Ladies Tour of Qatar in 2015 but her team boss, Danny Stam, believes that the British rider will be able to peak for her Spring and Olympic objectives if she has a later start to the campaign.
Armitstead has made no secret of her Rio Olympic Games ambitions and finished with a silver medal in the London Games in 2012. Great Britain are likely to have four spots in the women’s road race this time around, with Armitstead the designated leader on what many are calling a calling a course for the climbers.
Stam, who has helped guide Armistead to back-to-back overall World Cup wins believes that two blocks of racing will bring out the best in his British rider. Flanders is a race Armistead has never won before and the Spring campaign will centre around the Belgian one-day race.
“Qatar is very early in the season and I think if you want to have more than one peak of form in a year then you need to spread your season a little bit. Lizzie skips Qatar so we take things a little bit later than in 2015,” he told Cyclingnews.
“Then we can make two blocks of racing using shorter periods. So we do the spring section and then the Rio section. We think that it’s pretty hard to be good from February until August.”
Armitstead is planning to complete here spring campaign with Emakumeen Euskal Bira and La Flèche Wallonne Féminine.
Armitstead’s spring schedule
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe
Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio
Women’s Tour of Flanders
Emakumeen Euskal Bira
La Flèche Wallonne Féminine