Armitstead wins National Champs
Lizzie Armitstead wins, British road race national championships 2011
Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) won the women's British Road Race National Championships in Stamfordham, Northumberland on Sunday.
Armitstead out-paced Nicole Cooke (Mario Cipollini-Giordana) to take the win by several bike lengths, with Sharon Laws (Garmin-Cervelo) in third place. Last year's winner Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) came home in fourth.
Armitstead, Laws and Pooley are all team-mates on the Garmin-Cervelo squad and worked together to overhaul ten-time British champion Cooke.
The lead quartet had distanced the rest of the field earlier in the race after Armitstead had initiated an attack.
Laura Trott (Moving Ladies) won the under-23 title after taking the bunch sprint for fifth place.
What they said
Lizzie Armitstead, Garmin-Cervélo, winner
It's finally happened. It's nice to get a victory in the national championships. It was hard, but the girls made it a lot easier for me.
I wasn't worried about Nicole getting an easy ride, she had a hard race too. Emma and Sharon attacked a few times, and I also wanted to test Nicole to see how she was feeling. It was a wearing down process.
Nicole Cooke, MCipollini-Giambeini, second
When we got clear the onus was all on the Garmin team to decide what they wanted to do.
I didn't really have many options so for it was fairly simple, I was at their mercy in terms of how they wanted to race. I tried to get myself to the finish as fresh as possible and go for it in the sprint.
I'm not at my top form at the moment, that's fairly clear, I know I've got some more to come with my form, I'm building up towards the world championships which is my big aim for the year, and obviously with the GB team we've got a really good chance.
For me this is really the foundation for the end of the season but more importantly for next year as well.
Sharon Laws, Garmin-Cervélo, third
Lizzie's really quick right now so I was confident that she would win the sprint.
Emma and I knew we would have to get away if we wanted to win, and I was cramping on the last lap which didn't help.
Emma rode really well for the team, she helped me get back on when I punctured, which was really unselfish of her.
The fewer riders upfront, the more we could control it. We managed to achieve what we wanted.
Emma Pooley, Garmin-Cervélo, fourth
I didn't expect to win on this course to be honest. It would have been ideal to go uphill for 100km for me, but you don't always get it your own way. I had my chance and I tried my best to win.
I'm really glad for Lizzie, I think she really deserves it. She doesn't need a lead out coming in to there. She's really quick, she's one of the best sprinters in the world, even in bunch sprints.
It might have actually been better for us to have more in the break because it was bloody hard work in the wind and by the second small lap I was thinking ‘I wish we had ten.'
Laura Trott, Moving Ladies, fifth (U23 winner)
I'm really happy with the result. I don't really like road racing, and I just came for the ride, so I can't complain about how it worked out.
I knew we only had to go up the climb once, so I fully committed over it. I just missed the front group.
I felt a bit pressurised today because if people beat you they always say how they beat a world champion.
British Road Race National Championships 2011: Women, 64 miles
1. Lizze Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo) in 2-28-40
2. Nicole Cooke (Mario Cipollini-Giordana) at 2 secs
3. Sharon Laws (Garmin-Cervelo) at 4 secs
4. Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) at 8 secs
5. Laura Trott (Moving Ladies) at 2-48
6. Lucy Martin (Garmin-Cervelo)
7. Dani King (Horizon Fitness RT)
8. Catherine Williamson (Konica Minolta)
9. Katis Colclough (HTC-Highroad)
10. Emma Grant (For-Viored-Brookvex) all same time
Sharon Laws heads the break
Laura Trott went on to win the under-23 women's title
Emma Pooley at the front
Lizzie Armitstead wins
Sharon Laws (third), Lizzie Armitstead (winner) and Nicole Cooke (second)
Lizzie Armitstead on the podium