Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) gave her hometown crowd something to cheer about on Wednesday evening when she won the Pinsent Masons Otley Women’s Grand Prix, part of the British Cycling Women’s Road Series.
The 25-year-old, who had to settle for third spot in Sunday’s British Cycling National Road Race Championships, showed a clean pair of wheels to Dame Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi) who she attacked on the final lap to win by 16 seconds.
With series leader Nicola Juniper (Echelon-Rotor) battling to third spot, she looks to have strengthened her lead in the overall rankings and potentially done enough to wrap up the Series win, depending on whether her rivals ride the final three rounds.
Armitstead – also a winner in Tuesday night’s Ilkley Town Centre Races – attacked on the fourth lap at Otley to cheers from the crowd, and she quickly built up a strong lead which left weaker riders falling out of the back of the bunch.
Storey joined Armitstead on the fifth lap, and around 15 seconds back Rebecca Rimmington (Merlin Cycles) was in no man’s land, with the main chase group of 14 riders some way back with Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness) on the front.
The leading duo’s lead had grown to just over a minute by the time they crossed the line to start lap eight, and with Rimmington having been caught by the chasing group they were being powered round with Gaby Shaw (Pearl Izumi), Juniper and Walker.
At the bell, Armitstead attacked and Storey couldn’t respond, giving the local rider a special victory in front of a partisan crowd in the West Yorkshire town.
Third place for Juniper gave her a major boost with her rivals for the overall title, Katie Archibald and Laura Trott, not riding in Otley. That means that Juniper now leads by 34 points from Archibald, with Shaw’s fourth place moving her up to third overall.
1 Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) 37-41
2 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) at 16sec
3 Nicola Juniper (Echelon Rotor) at 2-14
4 Gaby Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) at same time
5 Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Racing Team)
6 Anna Walker (Epic Cycles-Scott)
7 Melissa Lowther (Matrix Fitness-Vulpine)
8 Elizabeth Holden (RST Racing Team)
9 Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness-Vulpine)
10 Delia Beddis (Les Filles RT) all same time