Published: 21 June 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Lizzie Armitstead is optimistic that she is finding her form at the ideal time for Sunday's British Cycling National Road Race Championships in Glasgow.
The 2012 Olympic road race silver medallist, who rides for the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team, finished second in Thursday's British Time Trial Championships behind Joanna Rowsell.
Armitstead took the national road title in 2011 and has finished second on three occasions including last year’s race in Yorkshire, won by Sharon Laws.
The 24-year-old will have teammates Lucy Martin and Emma Trott for company in Scotland and is fervently anticipating the race on 23 June.
“It would mean a lot to me to regain the title,” said Armitstead, who had competed at the Emakumeen Euskal Bira ahead of the championships.
“It’s really an honour to wear the national champion’s jersey, you feel a real sense of pride at every race where you are announced as British champion.
“My form has been slow coming this year, the spring has been filled with frustrations. In recent weeks I’ve felt much better in races. I hope that I’ve turned a corner and can produce a result in Glasgow.”
The elite women’s race sees riders take on eight laps of the 14.2-kilometre circuit in the city centre with a number of short, sharp climbs included.
Armitstead believes there a number of potential winners but highlighted Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling as the likely protagonists.
The British team’s five rider line-up boasts Olympic team pursuit gold medallists Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell, world champion Elinor Barker and British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider Amy Roberts.
“It’s a very open race this year, there is no real feature on the course that will split it so I think it will come down to tactics,” Armitstead said.
“It’s a great course, it’s not really flat, there are a lot of punchy climbs in it much like the classics in spring. It’s my preferred kind of racing but a bunch sprint is not how I would like the race to go.
“Wiggle Honda is the biggest threat as they have strength in numbers. There are also individual riders like Katie Colclough and Nikki Harris who can win in the right circumstances."
The championships will also present a rare occasion for Armitstead to race in front of a home crowd having thrived on the atmosphere at a rain soaked Mall in London less than 12 months ago, spending most of her time away from the UK with her Dutch trade team.
“I don’t get the opportunity to race at home very often or even be at home very often for that matter,” Armitstead said.
“It’s a great time to race in front of your friends and family, I enjoy the added pressure of having real support at a race.”
Highlights of the British Cycling National Road Championships will be broadcast on ITV4 on Monday 24 June at 7pm.