LIZZIE Armitstead expressed her determination to carry her August success all the way to the World Championships after another podium finish yesterday – this time at the Prudential RideLondon Women’s Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old led an England one-two in the Commonwealth Games women’s road race in Glasgow just over a week ago, claiming gold ahead of the now retired Emma Pooley.
There was little time for Armitstead to catch her breath however as she immediately travelled to London to line up as part of a 100-strong field for the Prudential RideLondon Women’s Grand Prix.
The 45-minute race around St James’s Park was the biggest women’s criterium ever to be staged in the United Kingdom and featured a whole host of big names, including world road race champion Marianne Vos.
Vos pipped Armitstead to Olympic gold on The Mall two years ago and again got the better of her this time, nudging Armitstead into third with Italian Giorgia Bronzini taking the line honours.
Armitstead had no complaints with just over a month until she heads to Ponferrada in Spain for a shot at a maiden global road medal at the World Championships.
“I just clung on in there in the sprint for as long as I could,” she said. “I’m happy with third place, I didn’t really prepare for the race at all.
“It’s a criterium, I’ve been training for road races and had the week off since the Commonwealth Games doing different things.
“So for me it was not about beating Marianne, it was about having some fun.
“This season has gone great, it feels like it is never ending, so you never get the chance to stop and think about it but it’s gone well.
“My aim going into the World Championships is to win, obviously it is a tall ask and Marianne is there and she will be the favourite.
“I will let them dictate the race and I will do what I can.”
Armitstead may have been the only Brit in the top three but six occupied the places from fourth to tenth with double Olympic champion Laura Trott in fifth.
There was again no rest for Armitstead as she quickly moved on to race in Amsterdam but she believes Britain is well equipped to have several cyclists challenging for major honours soon enough.
“I’m really proud to be British at the moment,” she added. “Cycling in this country has really taken off.
“I’m from Leeds and they had the Tour de France just a month ago and it’s just fantastic.
“We have some really strong riders at the moment and it’s great to be a part of.”
Prudential RideLondon took place on 9 & 10 August. To find out more, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk