Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead win British titles after thrilling races in Glasgow

Last Updated: 23/06/13 7:53pm

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Mark Cavendish won his first British road race title

Mark Cavendish won his first British road race title

Sky Bet

Mark Cavendish won his first British road race title after an aggressive display in a pulsating race in Glasgow.

The 28-year-old Omega Pharma - Quick-Step rider formed part of a six-man lead group in the first half of the race and went on to outsprint Ian Stannard (Team Sky) into second and David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) into third following a gripping finale.

It means Cavendish will now wear the British champion's jersey for the first time at Saturday's opening stage of the Tour de France in Corsica.

Despite poor weather, an estimated 30,000 fans lined the streets of Glasgow to witness a thrilling spectacle that provided fireworks right from the starting flag.

Stannard, the defending champion, attacked alongside Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) on the first of 13, 14.2km laps around Glasgow's city centre and Cavendish, Millar and Team Sky pair Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift immediately gave chase.

Gripping finale

The two groups were separated by a gap of between 30 and 45 seconds for several laps, but the pursuers managed to close it on lap seven and a six-man lead group formed.

Swift and Fenn were dropped on lap nine and Stannard thought his chances were also lost when he punctured on the penultimate lap, but the other three remaining front men waited for him to rejoin, setting up a compelling last circuit of the technical and undulating course.

Stannard, Cavendish and lastly Millar all tried and failed with solo bids for glory, but Kennaugh began to feel the pace of an exhausting battle and fell away.

That set up a three-man sprint and Cavendish prevailed comfortably to claim a victory that will live long in the memory.

Armitstead triumphs

Earlier in the day, Lizzie Armitstead regained the women's title with a superb solo victory.

The 24-year-old Olympic silver-medallist (Boels Dolmans) attacked on the seventh of eight, 14.2km laps around Glasgow and crossed the line well clear of Laura Trott (Wiggle Honda) in second and Dani King (Wiggle Honda) in third.

The trio had formed part of a five-rider breakaway that forged ahead at the end of the fourth lap and was later whittled down to just three after Amy Roberts (Wiggle Honda) and then Emma Trott (Boels Dolmans) fell away.

Joanna Rowsell (Wiggle Honda) failed to join the initial move but produced a stunning late surge to claim fourth place, with Emma Trott rallying to secure fifth.

Lizzie Armitstead won the women's race for a second time

'Really special'

It is the second time Armitstead has won the national road race title, having previously claimed the British jersey in 2011, and makes up for finishing second behind Rowsell in Thursday's national time trial championships.

"It is really special," Armitstead said. "It was one of my main goals of the season. I have had an up and down season so far so I needed a bit of a confidence boost and hopefully having the jersey on my back will help."

The five escapees broke away on lap four and opened up a gap of one minute by the end of lap five, but Roberts was unable to maintain the pace and dropped back.

Emma Trott cracked two laps later after the advantage had been stretched out to 2min 40sec, but Armitstead still had more to give and surged away from Laura Trott and King on the penultimate circuit. She swiftly opened up a lead of more than 30 seconds and victory never looked in doubt.

Men's road race result

1 Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
2 Ian Stannard (Team Sky)
3 David Millar (Garmin-Sharp)
4 Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)
5 Luke Rowe (Team Sky)

Women's road race result

1 Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) 3:12:40
2 Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda) 1:03
3 Dani King (Wiggle-Honda) same time
4 Jo Rowsell (Wiggle-Honda) 2:58
5 Emma Trott (Boels-Dolmans) 3:20

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