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Armitstead beats Cooke to take title

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Laws, Armitstead and Cooke on the podium

Laws, Armitstead and Cooke on the podium (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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Armitstead celebrates her victory

Armitstead celebrates her victory (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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The bunch after the first lap

The bunch after the first lap (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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The peloton mid-race

The peloton mid-race (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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The bunch chases the break

The bunch chases the break (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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Lizzie Armitstead wins the British national title

Lizzie Armitstead wins the British national title (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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Laws leads the break

Laws leads the break (Image credit: Robert Lampard)
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The four on the final lap

The four on the final lap (Image credit: Robert Lampard)

Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) is the new women’s British road race champion after using her fast finish to win the title in the Stamfordham, Tyne and Wear, in the northeast of England.

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.”

1Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo)2:48:40
2Nicole Cooke (Mcipollini)0:00:02
3Sharon Laws (Garmin-Cervelo)0:00:04
4Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo)0:00:08
5Laura Trott (Moving Ladies)0:02:48
6Lucy Martin (Garmin-Cervelo)
7Dani King (Horizon Fitness)
8Catherine Williamson (Konica Minolta)
9Katie Colclough (HTC Highroad)
10Emma Grant (For Viored)


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