Lizzie Armitstead is hoping to get her season back on track at next week's World Track Championships, in Copenhagen. The 21-year-old Cervélo TestTeam rider crashed heavily in her road debut for the Dutch team during the Tour of Qatar, but with her first major goal just days away and her body fully recovered, she is aiming to strike gold in the pursuit, omnium and points race.
"I think I'm going well," she told Cyclingnews. "It's hard to tell without racing. I feel stronger after training with the girls on the team and training on the road so we'll see how the track goes."
Armitstead, a member of Great Britain's world champion team pursuit squad last year, signed for Cervélo after riding for Lotto in 2009 and despite joining a team packed with superstars, the young Brit doesn't appear to be phased by riding for the world's number one ranked team. This year, though, she'll be balancing her track aspirations with road goals based in her native UK.
"I've centred things around the nationals and the second half of the season around the Worlds and Commonwealth Games, on the road. So I'm hoping for some good domestic results too," Armitstead said.
Cervélo first noticed Armitstead's talent in August last year at the Giro Donne, where she finished 15th overall. The Italian stage race won't be on her schedule this time around, however.
"I've decided not to do the Giro this year. I felt like I've been there and I've seen what it's about it. It falls in the wrong place, and I need an easy month in July to peak later. I'd like to do it but I have to think logically about the season."
After the Worlds in Copenhagen, Armitstead will move to Belgium, where she'll base herself for the remainder of the season in a bid to learn more about the European race scene. "I've got racing pretty much every weekend. It's about getting as much experience as I can and finding out what kind of rider I'm going to develop into. At the moment I'm doing everything and just seeing what happens, so I want to get more direction."
That room to grow and develop at her own pace was clearly something that swayed her decision in joining Cervélo - there were offers from other teams.
"Obviously, for me I had to find a team that was willing to help me carry on with my track programme and Cervélo was willing to do that. Cervélo was the team that gave me the most freedom. It's bit early in my career to forget about the track."