Lizzie Armitstead has secured Team GB’s first medal of the London 2012 games with a silver in the rain-soaked Women’s Cycling Road Race.
After Team GB’s disappointment in the Men’s Road Race the day before, all eyes were on the women’s team, with Armitstead joined by Beijing medallist Emma Pooley, Lucy Martin and reigning Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.
After a long ride into Surrey, Armitstead was part of a three-rider group that broke out with 25km to go as the field headed back into London. The trio stayed together until the final hundred metres, where Dutchwoman Marianne Vlos used her power to cross the line first and take the gold medal, with 23 year old Armitstead just behind to take silver in her first Olympic Games. Russian Olga Zabelinskaya secured the bronze.
Armtistead’s success breaks Team GB’s medal duck on the second full day of competition and lifts the spirits of the Team GB cycling squad after the men’s disappointment. Cooke’s defence of the title ended in disappointment, finishing 31st, while Pooley ended up 40th and last of the riders to complete the 140km race after a mechanical problems towards the end of the race.