A MINUTE WITH: LIZZIE ARMISTEAD
We catch up with the British criterium and European scratch race champion to talk about cycling, world affairs... and soap operas
When did you first start watching Neighbours?
When I was about five years old. I’m 18 now and watch it whenever I can, which is most days. It’s fair to say that I’m a true fan.
Does watching the programme ever restrict your training?
When I was at school I used to go out on my bike but make sure I was back in time to see it. Now I’m a full-time cyclist, it’s a bit easier to do whatever training I need to and still catch Neighbours. Having it on twice a day helps.
How do you feel about it moving from BBC to Five next year?
When I lived at home in Otley it would have been devastating. We can’t get Five there because of the hills. Now I’m living in Manchester, it’s fine. Having adverts breaking it up will be a shame but I’ll have to live with that.
What about the new credits?
Terrible. Not impressed. Makes the programme look a bit too much like a cartoon. Neighbours is serious!
What’s been your favourite story line?
The House of Trouser is a pretty funny place, but Karl and Susan make me cringe.
After the evening episode, do you leave the TV on to watch the news?
It depends who I’m with. Usually I watch the news then Hollyoaks.
What world issues concern you most?
Probably George Bush. He’s a world issue!
What’s the first thing you’d do if you were prime minister?
Improve public transport. Before I could drive I used to have to use it a lot.
What else do you like to do with your free time?
I like shopping, spending time with my flatmate, being outdoors and being with my boyfriend.
What is your ultimate ambition in cycling?
I’d like to be world champion on the road and track and be known as one of the best all-rounders in the sport.
What are your plans for next year?
I’m on the Olympic Academy and that’s a track-based programme but my main aim is to get
selected for the road team for the Olympics. Track places on the team are limited and riders like Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Romero are more likely to get selected.
How much training do you do?
I’ve just had a few weeks off but usually I do around 20-25 hours a week.
Who do you most respect in cycling?
Phil West got me into the sport. I wasn’t a cyclist but was picked up from the school sports field by the Talent Team. My boyfriend Adam Blythe and his family have helped me a lot too.
Where would you most like to live?
Nowhere specific but just somewhere where it’s hot and sunny every day.