Lizzie Armitstead wins silver in the women's road raceSubscribe
Natalie Broadbent 29 July 2012
Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead produced an outstanding performance in the Women’s Road Race to win Team GB’s first medal of the London 2012 Olympics.
The 23-year old, who has been on UK Sport’s World Class Programme since 2006, launched a dramatic breakaway in a memorable Women’s Road Race, dominated by extreme wet weather, and a number of eventful incidents, including numerous crashes, in extremely challenging conditions.
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “Congratulations to Lizzie Armitstead for a truly inspiring performance to win the first medal for Team GB at London 2012. To win a silver medal on the opening weekend of competition gets the team off to a fantastic start and as we saw in Beijing in 2008 a win like this can generate a powerful momentum for a really successful Olympic Games."
Armitstead launched an attack with Marianne Vos of Holland and Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia on the final ascent of Box Hill, and held off the peloton, battling against the driving rain to reach the podium.
Although Vos powered away in the final straight to claim gold, Armitstead was rightly delighted with her own performance. She paid tribute to the crowds and the overall experience: “It’s the most special thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was crazy, it was so, so inspiring. It was amazing.”
Performance Director of British Cycling, Dave Brailsford, paid tribute to Armitstead, describing her performance as ”magnificent”.
Team GB’s 2008 Beijing Olympic campaign was kick started by a medal in the Women’s Road Race, also finished in near torrential rain, by Team GB team mate, Nicole Cook on the very first weekend. Hopes are high that this success could be an auspicious omen for a similarly successful haul in London.