Armitstead geared up for time trial as she predicts more success for GB in velodrome (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Otley ace Lizzie Armitstead geared up for time trial as she predicts more success for GB in velodrome
6:30am Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Sport
Lizzie Armitstead believes her silver medal is just the beginning for Great Britain’s cyclists at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Armitstead overcame the elements to claim Britain’s first medal of the home Games in the women’s road race as prolific winner Marianne Vos of Holland triumphed on The Mall.
Once again a cyclist proved to be an Olympic trailblazer for Britain after Jason Queally claimed gold on day one of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Sir Chris Hoy the first gold of the Athens Games and Nicole Cooke won the opening medal with victory in the women’s road race in Beijing four years’ ago.
Armitstead, who is set to compete in the time trial tomorrow, with Bradley Wiggins favourite for the equivalent men’s event, expects further success to follow.
“I don’t think the track guys really need any help from the rumours I’ve been hearing,” said Armitstead, ahead of competition beginning in the velodrome on Thursday.
“The training camp seems to be going fantastically well.
“I’m very good friends with Joanna Rowsell, so I’ve got a bit of inside knowledge and I know that they’re on track for medals.”
Mark Cavendish was among the favourites on the opening day, but the men’s road race did not go according to plan.
The women’s event was also difficult to predict and control, but sterling work from Emma Pooley, plus early contributions from Cooke and Lucy Martin, helped Armitstead on to the podium. Armitstead grinned widely as she crossed the line and later on Twitter described “the best day of my life” after a gutsy ride in a pulsating race which was aggressive from the start and played out in torrential rain.
The 23-year-old from Otley marked Vos in the closing kilometres but did not have the strength to overpower the Dutchwoman in the finale.
Asked if she had lost the gold or won the silver, Armitstead said: “I was there with Marianne Vos and she’s the best rider in the world on most kinds of courses. I’m pretty chuffed with silver.”
British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford reported Wiggins was recovering well from his exertions in trying to help Cavendish succeed in the road race.
Brailsford said: “We wanted something out of these first two races – let’s be honest – and we got a fantastic performance by Lizzie.
“And now we go on to Wednesday and see whether we can repeat the feat.”