Interview – Lizzie Armitstead


Lots of goals for Yorkshire’s Lizzie Armitstead for the second half of the 2014 road season including the World Road Race championships …

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Interview – Lizzie Armitstead

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It has been some season for Lizzie Armitstead. Look at this for a list of big results in a just few months of this year:

— 3rd Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
– 1st Omloop van het Hageland
– 3rd Drentse 8
– 1st Ronde van Drenthe World Cup
– 2nd Trofeo Alfredo Binda
– 2nd Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen)
– 2nd La Flèche Wallonne Féminine
– 2nd Emakumeen Saria
– 3rd British National Road Race Championships

Add to that first at the Women’s race at Otley and then racing with the Men’s race later on.  The former British Road Race champion was all smiles being home with family and friends and half of Yorkshire in the town for the racing. Lizzie had also ridden the men’s race the night before in Ilkley where the course was so hilly, she says they should have had a king of the mountains prize. Lizzie was 7th.

In the Women’s race at Otley, it all started with other riders looking to get their picture with her showing what an inspiration she is to riders here in Britain. It’s all a far cry from her first World Championship medals in 2005 as a Junior on the track. Lizzie is a fully fledged World Star!


Once the flag had been dropped in the Women’s race, Lizzie was seemingly racing within herself, going away solo, getting a breakaway partner in Sarah Storey coming up to her and then clipping off on the final lap to win solo. Lizzie made it look easy but then she is the best in the World and leader of the World Cup.

Lizzie explained how she is training in the mornings and racing at night which is good preparation for her forthcoming races. Lizzie and her team are doing a stage race in Germany soon and Lizzie explained how that she doesn’t do so much crit racing in Holland because of her racing schedule and added that it is always good to do some to help get the leg speed you get from those type of races.

Asked what her strategy was for the Otley race, Lizzie replied “stay safe and put on a show. It was good to have Sarah with me too. I love coming back home to Otley even when there isn’t a race on because for me, it’s one of the nicest places in the world. I love it.”

And Otley loves Lizzie too judging by the reaction to her as we did the interview a few metres from where the racing was taking place.

Last weekend, in the British Road Race championships, Lizzie Armitstead was the strongest rider in the race. She had been off the front for long periods at least twice and was at the front of the lead group even more during the race.


Away on her own for the finishing loops of Abergavenny, Lizzie was caught less than half a lap from the finish and then in the sprint, led it out only for two riders; Laura Trott and Dani King; to nip past her in the sprint. Lizzie finished 3rd.

Lizzie, a female road race professional in Europe, has for the last 12 months wore the Champion’s jersey in all the big races when she hasn’t had the World Cup jersey on and for sure, has put that champion’s jersey in the spotlight.

Talking about that, she explains “I’m proud of the way I wore it and proud of the way I raced the championship. I was attacking all day long and disappointed on the last lap when there were some interferences from motorbikes which didn’t help me but that is the way cycling goes. We’ve all been there when we have had the motorbike in our favour. That’s cycling.”

I explained that for me, it had been the most exciting British Championship for many a year and how the likes of Dani King and Laura Trott had managed to hang on over some tough terrain with the best climbers in the World.


Lizzie replied “they did very well. The Nationals is a different race to any other in Europe but they are strong riders and they have won the Olympics for a reason”.

We then talked about her run of form in the classics of the cycling world in Europe. “I am not winning everything but I am on the podium. I’ve been on it more than I have been off it and if you’d told me that at the beginning of the season, I would not have believed you”.

“I am pretty pleased with how its gone. I have put an awful lot of work in. I live in Monaco where we are surrounded by the mountains and I train with a girl called Tiffany Cromwell who’s a climber so training with some one whose strength is your weakness is positive. I have dropped a bit of weight too and all round have got stronger as I’ve got older.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Lizzie says her goals are the Commonwealth Games, World Cup and the World Road Race Championships. I put it to Lizzie that the defeat at the nationals has made her more hungry for the Worlds.

“It definitely has. The Worlds is an interesting course in that you can’t really define a point where it will split the race. I think it will be a war of attrition and that will suit me.”

Good luck to Lizzie for the rest of 2014 in Europe.


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