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Armitstead Wins National RR Championship
Stamfordham, Tyne and Wear, 65 miles
Event: 26th June 2011 | Event Listing
Report: Phil Ingham & Snowdon Sports
Andy Whitehouse's Images
SECOND for the last two years, Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) is the new Women's Road Race Champion after a strong sprint finish at the end of the 65-mile title race at Stamfordham, Northumberland, on Sunday morning.
Part of a four-rider break which dominated the race, Armitstead took victory by two seconds from Cooke, while her Garmin team-mate Sharon Laws was third.
The four went clear on the first of four laps, and quickly established a big gap to the chasing bunch with defending champion Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) keeping the pace constantly high.
Outnumbered, the options were limited for ten-times champion Cooke.
As they headed into the final 250 metres, it was Laws who attacked first, and Armitstead was straight on her wheel, taking a great lead out and rounding her team-mate to take a good win, while Cooke looked resigned to second spot.
The chasing group trailed in 2:48, while the remains of the bunch was more than five minutes further back.
The shape of the race was settled on the first lap on the three steep inclines of the Ryals climb. Sharon Laws punctured on the approach to the climb and was towed back into the bunch by her team-mate Emma Pooley. The pair then went straight through the field on the climb and latched onto an attack led by their team-mate Lizzie Armitstead, who accelerated over the top of the final bank.
Armitstead was followed by ten-time champion Nicole Cooke, and the pair were rapidly joined by Laws and Pooley. This quartet then dominated the rest of the race, rapidly building a lead of over 2 minutes and defending it with ease.
Depsite a number of attacks and counter attacks on the final lap, the four riders came into the finish together. Laws went first, but it was always going to be a shoot out between the better sprinters, Cooke and Armitstead, with Lizzie taking it bey several bike lengths.
Laura Trott led in the bunch to claim the Under-23 title from Lucy Martin and Dani King.
Winner Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) said: "It was hard, but made a bit easier by the other girls in the break. I just played to my strengths - I was the lazy sprinter in the group!
"In training, the Ryals climb [where the break went away] felt really hard, but in the race it felt really easy and I just thought ‘go for it and see what happens'.
"At the finish, Sharon [Laws, her team-mate] went with about 250 yards to go, whereas I was planning to go at about 200 to go. It was a bit of a long sprint, but still good."
Second in the title race for the last two years, Armitstead added: "I've been getting so many silvers, it's nice to get a win on the road!"
More Interviews - Armitstead & Laws
1 Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) 2:28:40
2 Nicole Cooke (Mcipollini) @ 2sec
3 Sharon Laws (Garmin-Cervelo) @ 4sec
4 Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) @ 8sec
5 Laura Trott (Moving Ladies) @ 2:48
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)
11 Penny ROWSON
12 Hannah MAYHO
13 Claire THOMAS
14 Rohan BATTISON
15 Sarah BYRNE
16 Lowri BUNN
17 Jane BARR
18 Sarah BAILEY
19 Natalie CRESWICK
20 Helen WYMAN +3:34
21 Hannah RICH +9:18
22 Joanna ROWSELL +9:18
23 Ella SADLER-ANDREWS +9:18
24 Tanya MATTHEWSON +9:18
25 Tamina Kate OLIVER +9:18
26 Gemma NEILL +9:18
27 Jenny STANNING +9:21
28 Rebecca CURLEY +9:21
29 Lynn HAMEL +9:21
30 Clare LEAVER +9:21
31 Nicola JUNIPER +9:21
32 Laura MURRAY +9:21
33 Lucy COMMANDER +9:21
34 Corinne HALL +9:26
35 Julia SHAW +9:31
36 Annabel SIMPSON +9:34
37 Anne EWING +10:46
38 Claire MACAULAY +12:58
1 Laura Trott (Moving Ladies)
2 Lucy Martin (Garmin-Cervelo)
3 Dani King (Horizon Fitness)