Armitstead edged out
Australian cycling dominance continues in Delhi
By Jonathan Turner. Last Updated: 10/10/10 10:59am
Armitstead: Silver medal
England's Lizzie Armitstead took silver behind Australian Rochelle Gilmore in the women's road race at the Commonwealth Games.
A select group of around 35 riders were in contention when the bell rang for the eighth and last of the 14km laps in New Delhi.
The group included the entire England and Australia teams as well as Olympic champion Nicole Cooke of Wales.
And after Australia had reeled in a couple of breaks by New Zealand riders in the closing stages it was Gilmore who proved strongest, powering to victory by a bike length from the fast-finishing Armitstead.
Chloe Hosking took third as Australia matched their dominance from the track where they won 12 of the 14 gold medals.
Cooke meanwhile was a little isolated as the only Welsh rider in that front group and had to settle for fifth place.
A delighted Gilmore said afterwards: "The team did a great job and I had enough energy at the end to finish it off.
"The track riders have set the standard for us this week and that put the pressure on a bit but I'm delighted we were able to deliver today."
So near, so far
Armitstead was left a little frustrated after crossing the line in second, explaining: "I just felt like I let the girls down a little bit. I simply made a wrong decision at the finish. I think I had the legs, but never mind.
The 21-year-old from Otley added: "It is a Commonwealth silver and I know my friends and family at home will think it's fantastic. It's just I know I'm capable of beating Rochelle, so that's a little bit disappointing. But she was faster on the day, so all credit to her."
Armitstead highlighted the performance of the young England team - featuring Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws, Lucy Martin and Emma Trott - but felt she should have made her move earlier to put herself in a better to bid for glory.
"They did a really good job today," said Armitstead, who hit her foot on a barrier 3km out from the finish, narrowly avoiding a crash.
"It was our first try at a lead out and they had to do a little bit too much too soon and I waited a little bit, I hesitated, because I wanted the job to get done right until the line.
"I should have made the split decision to get on a wheel instead because they'd just done too much.
"They did a perfect job, we could have just done with the line being a bit closer.
"But for our first attempt as a team - we've not even tried it in training - I'm really impressed and I think we can only get better. Come London we should be a force to be reckoned with."