Armitstead has finished second in the last two British championships but made sure she was part of the decisive four-rider move with teammates Sharon Laws and Emma Pooley, and Nicole Cooke (Mcipollini). They opened a huge gap on the rest of the field after attacking on the first lap of the four-lap race.
Laws lead out the sprint and Armitstead then surged past to take the title, finishing several bike lengths ahead of Cooke. Laws took third and 2010 Pooley was fourth. Laura Trott (Moving Ladies) finished fifth at 2:48 and so took the Under 23 women’s national title.
A chasing group finished more than two minutes down, with the main peloton over five minutes behind.
“Finally, thank God! I’ve been getting too many seconds so it’s just nice to have a result on the road,” Armitstead said
“I do like good hard racing and it was quite hard for me to hold myself back in that breakaway and not go for but I knew out of the group I had the best chance in the sprint and I had to be lazy and it paid off in the end. We wanted a hard race and the Ryals were an important place for us to whittle the group down and with the section over the top it was important we had wind so that it would be hard for the chasing group.”
“It’s going to great to wear the jersey now. I’m very proud to be British and we’re one of the strongest nations in the world at the moment as females so it’ll be great to be leading the way.”
Eight-time winner of the national championships in the last ten years, Nicole Cooke, riding for MCipollini-Giambenini was disappointed but said she was focusing on bigger goals.
“For me it’s about going for the bull’s eye – for the world champs and the Olympics,” she said.
“For me I just had to keep assessing the situation, looking at my options, see how the girls were riding and how far the group was behind. And it developed as the race went on and coming into the last half lap I realised there wasn’t much chance of me being able to break away by myself with three strong girls who’d chase me down so I just had to go as good as I could in the sprint and cover the attacks that they threw in.”
|1||Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo)||2:48:40|
|2||Nicole Cooke (Mcipollini)||0:00:02|
|3||Sharon Laws (Garmin-Cervelo)||0:00:04|
|4||Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo)||0:00:08|
|5||Laura Trott (Moving Ladies)||0:02:48|
|6||Lucy Martin (Garmin-Cervelo)|
|7||Dani King (Horizon Fitness)|
|8||Catherine Williamson (Konica Minolta)|
|9||Katie Colclough (HTC Highroad)|
|10||Emma Grant (For Viored)|