News – Lizzie Armitstead Leads World Cup


In Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Sunday, Lizzie Armitstead was second to Orica GreenEdge’s Emma Johansson who took her third victory of the season but the British rider now leads the Women’s World Cup

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News – Lizzie Armitstead Leads World Cup

In a eight up sprint finish, Johansson got to the finish line just ahead of Lizzie Armitstead who won the opening round of the series two weeks ago and had the support of Ellen van Dijk in the group of eight.

LizzieSecondin Binda


The 123.7 kilometre race, the second round of the UCI Women Road World Cup, took place in the province of Varese, in the north of Italy. Against the scenic backdrop of the Lago Maggiore 139 riders signed the sheet and took the start at 1.30pm.

The six per cent average, four-kilometre long climb to Cunardo, in the first hour of racing, split the peloton for the first time. A little over half of the 139 riders were still up front when the finish line in Cittiglio was crossed for the second time.

A breakaway of six riders with, among others, Megan Guarnier for Boels-Dolmans and Lucinda Brand for Rabo-Liv managed to take 45 seconds but were reeled back in over the the first local, 17.1 kilometre loop.

Guarnier tried again in the penultimate lap. Brand and Chantal Blaak joined her but they were never allowed to get more than half a minute ahead.

The Orino climb in each of these four laps thinned out the peloton until a group of only 29 riders were left in contention for the victory on the last lap. Eight of them left the others behind on the last three-kilometre ascent to Orino.

The strong Dutch team Rabo Liv also boasted strength in numbers placing both Anna van der Breggen and Pauline Ferrand Prevot in the move. Defending Trofeo Alfredo Binda champion Elisa Long Borghini was the lone Italian representative. Olga Zabelinskaya (Rusvelo) and Amialiusik had also made the cup. Despite the strength of the group, Johansson was confident she could win.

“I knew where I needed to be to have the best chance,” said Johansson. “Coming into the last corner, Ellen was leading Lizzie. I had to go on the inside or I would get closed in on the outside, so I made sure that I took the inside line.”

“I started my sprint quite early,” Johansson continued. “Lizzie is faster than me, but I know I can hold my speed longer than she can. That’s why I started early. I could feel Lizzie coming, but I didn’t dare look up. I kept my head down and went as fast as I could. I didn’t even realize I had crossed the finish line, and I had no idea that I had won until they called my name.”

Lizzie afterwards said “I gave it everything to win, but it was not to be . It’s good. Next week me and Emma will meet again in the Tour of Flanders with other strong riders like Amy Pieters and Ferrand-Prevot for example. Now it’s time for a rest and then prepare for next Sunday.”

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