Cycling Weekly is counting down the top 30 British Riders of the Year thoughout December. The top 10 will be revealed in the December 19 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine.
NUMBER 23: LIZZIE ARMITSTEAD
National road race champion
After winning a silver medal at the Olympic Games last summer, it turned out to be a more challenging season for Lizzie Armitstead.
Her only major victory was the national road race championship in Glasgow, which she won for the second time in her career (the other being in 2011), and extended her unbroken run of podium finishes to five.
The manner of her victory was impressive – she broke clear and beat Laura Trott and Dani King by more than a minute, with fourth placed Jo Rowsell almost three minutes back.
Armitstead was also runner-up in the national time trial championship, behind Rowsell.
Her record in the major international races was good, but she’s still a little way off challenging Vos on a regular basis. Seventh at the opening World Cup round, the Ronde Van Drenthe, was followed by ninth place at the Tour of Flanders and 12th at Flèche Wallonne.
In the stage races, where she might be expected to pick up victories with her sprint finish, she was there or thereabouts throughout the season. But, despite a string of top five placings, victories proved elusive.