Lizzie Armitstead had to settle for eighth place on the opening day of the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain.

The Otley rider, who won an Olympic road race silver medal at the 2012 Games in London, led with 500 metres to go of the trip from Oundle to Northampton.

But Armitstead slipped back in the sprint finish and later revealed that the volume of support from the British crowd had made her think she was closer to the finish than she was.

Hannah Barnes took the plaudits among the Great Britain riders as she came home third.

The 21-year-old from Kent was headed only by Sweden’s Emma Johansson and Olympic champion Marianne Vos of Holland on the first of the five stages.

Double junior world road race champion Lucy Garner finished sixth to give Britain a strong early showing, with Jessie Walker 18th, Dani King 29th and Laura Trott, who has been suffering from laryngitis, nine places further back.

The Tour of Britain is bringing the world’s leading women’s cyclists to the streets of Britain for the first time since the 2012 Olympics.

Eleven of the top 14 professional women’s teams, with a total of 96 riders, are competing in the five-day event, which will finish in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.