Team England’s Lizzie Armitstead became the first British winner of the Aviva 2016 Women’s Tour yesterday, as she sealed overall victory finishing 14th in the final 113km Northamptonshire stage of the tour.
World race champion Armistead adds the Tour to her already-bursting record of achievements, including winning Olympic Silver at London 2012 and going on to win Gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
After having to watch the rest of last year’s event from her bed following a crash as she won Stage One, she’s happy to come back and take victory for her team.
Speaking to the BBC, Armitstead said:
“I feel very lucky because I am part of a country that loves cycling at the moment. Events like this certainly help. We had a lot of pressure on us with the team performing so well all week. I couldn’t let them down really so I’m relieved and happy that I did it for them.”
Huge crowds turned out on the side of the road throughout the five days to support Armitstead, who surged into the lead on Friday through the Derbyshire Dales in Stage Three, extending her advantage over the weekend to take the overall win.
It’s all about the Road to Rio from here for the Yorkshire cyclist; this weekend sees her defend her national road race title at Stockton-on-Tees, before next month’s Giro d’Italia, and then she takes on the challenging Rio mountain roads in August for the Olympic road race.
Despite the tough course, confidence is at an all-time high for Armitstead. Hungry for Gold at Rio after clinching Silver in London four years ago, she’s happy with her climbing legs after taking the whole month of May off to work on hill training.
We’re rooting for you Lizzie!