Lizzie Armitstead took an emphatic victory to seal the title of 2013 British Road Race Champion on the streets of Glasgow, outpacing her breakaway rivals Laura Trott and Dani King on the final lap.
The silver medallist from the Olympic road race made her move on the eighth and final lap, distancing the two Wiggle Honda riders on the final ascent of the University climb.
What was 20 metres, turned into over a minute by the finish and Armitstead’s return to Glasgow Green was essentially a victory lap, followed by – in her own words “a chance to celebrate in front of the crowd and feel like a bit of a rockstar.”
"I didn't want to show my cards too early and if I tried to go on the steep climb I knew I'd probably have a bit more power over the track riders who are used to shorter distances so I used that to my advantage, played a bit of a poker face.
"I was kind of waiting for it all race really, Dani lead all the last lap and if I was them I would have continually attacked me, but maybe they were confident of beating me in a sprint, but I wasn't letting it go to a sprint."
Trott outsprinted King to the line to take the welcome consolation prize of fastest under-23; both King and Trott acknowledged after the race that Armitstead was simply strongest of all riders.
HOW THE RACE UNFOLDED
After an early lone attack by Anda-Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace Cycles), the peloton was thinned to a lead group of 18 riders containing all the main protaganists.
From this an escape of five riders including Laura Trott, Emma Trott, Lizzie Armitstead and Dani King was instigated by Amy Roberts who had escaped mid-way through the eight-lap 112km race.
Small groups of chasers tried in vain to bridge the gap, but it was impossible and with the escape established, Roberts could drop back to a now complete group two minutes down and out of contention.
Ahead, Armitstead wasn’t prepared to wait for a sprint finish against fellow Olympians Laura Trott and Dani King and she attacked on the penultimate lap. This only succeeded in dropping her own teammate Emma Trott however, and if Armitstead wanted the title, she would have to defeat the team tactics of Laura Trott and Dani King.
Behind, Joanna Rowsell had attacked out of the chase group, catching and passing Emma Trott, while Amy Roberts also recovered enough to ride alone.
On the final lap, thoughts of a sprint finish went out of the window when Armitstead attacked and quickly split her rivals, gaining ten seconds on Laura Trott, while King held on grimly a further five seconds back.
Her pace continued to prove decisive, and the lead grew to over a minute by the time she had her arms aloft at the finish.
1 Elizabeth Armitstead Boels Dolmans CT 3:12:40
2 Laura Trott OBE Wiggle Honda 1:03
3 Danielle King Wiggle Honda st
4 Joanna Rowsell Wiggle Honda 2:58
5 Emma Trott Boels Dolmans CT 3:20
6 Sharon Laws Lotto - Belisol 4:49
7 Claire Thomas Unattached 4:52
8 Emma Grant Matrix Fitness Racing 4:54
9 Natalie Creswick Mulebar Girl - Sigma Sport 5:33
10 Elinor Barker Wiggle Honda 7:29
11 Alexie Shaw Les Filles Racing Team 8:12
12 Amy Roberts Wiggle Honda 10:30
13 Laura Massey Abergavenny RC 11:14
14 Lucy Garner Argos - Shimano 11:51
15 Hannah Barnes MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling st
16 Charline Joiner MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling st
17 Eileen Roe Breast Cancer Care st
18 Molly Weaver Breast Cancer Care st
19 Hannah Walker Matrix Fitness Racing st
20 Julie Erskine Granite City RT st
21 Corrine Hall Matrix Fitness Racing st
22 Jessie Walker Matrix Fitness Racing 11:54
23 Lucy Martin Boels Dolmans CT 11:55
24 Helen Ralston Les Filles Racing Team 14:04
25 Jane Barr Breast Cancer Care 14:05
26 Karen Poole GB Cycles.co.uk 14:06
27 Lucy Coldwell Unattached st
28 Joanna Tindley Matrix Fitness Racing 17:29
29 Gabriella Shaw Breast Cancer Care 17:30
30 Melissa Brand MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling st
31 Jennifer Taylor Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers st
32 Penny Rowson Breast Cancer Care 17:33
Highlights of the British Cycling National Road Championships will be broadcast on ITV4 on Monday 24 June at 7pm.
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