Lizzie wins Team GB's first medal
Lizzie Armitstead won Team GB’s first medal of the London Olympics, claiming a silver in a tough women’s road race. It was consolation for Mark Cavendish’s disappointment the previous day and showed that the 23 year-old Armitstead has fulfilled her potential in style.
The British team were determined not to be left behind after what had happened in the men’s race. Emma Pooley performed commendably in driving a strong pace in the early stages of the race.
Armitstead joined a breakaway group with the hot favourite Marianne Vos of the Netherlands and the Russian Olga Zabelinskaya, and the trio held their advantage all the way to the finish, although the Russian was visibly fading.
As rain and lightning lashed the Mall, Armitstead set herself to attack Vos in the sprint finish, but her strength had been sapped by the arduous stretches at the front of the race, and the Dutch rider held her off to win gold.
"I'm so glad I committed to that break," Armitstead said. "We saw the men's race. Once you've got a committed group it's hard to get them back so I went with it."
Vos is a stronger sprinter than Armitstead, in fact she’s a stronger sprinter than any other woman on the planet, so the British rider could not be too surprised that she was unable to get past her in the sprint down the Mall. "Marianne was the one to watch so I was following her around," Armitstead said. "I'm so happy we got the ball rolling for Team GB. It means four years of hard work has paid off."