London 2012

Cycling silver for Armitstead

Lizzie seals first British medal at London 2012

Last Updated: 29/07/12 10:25pm

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Armistead narrowly denied by the triumphant Vos

Armistead narrowly denied by the triumphant Vos

Lizzie Armitstead became the first British medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games by finishing in second place behind Marianne Vos in the women's road race.

The 23 year old from Yorkshire worked her way into the decisive three-woman move that went away with 45km to go, and she, Vos (Holland) and Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) remained ahead as they pressed back into the capital under torrential rain.

The trio swept onto The Mall with a 45-second advantage over the chasing bunch and Armitstead positioned herself on Vos's wheel as they edged ever closer to the line. She kicked with around 150m to go but despite her best efforts, was unable to pass her Dutch counterpart as Vos held on for her second Olympic gold.

Zabelinskaya rolled in two seconds behind to wrap up the bronze medal, with Germany's Ina Teutenberg taking the bunch sprint for fourth place, 25 seconds later.

The 140km race had begun in far more clement conditions and Armitstead's team-mates Nicole Cooke, Lucy Martin and Emma Pooley assumed prominent positions from the start to keep any early attacks in check.

Indeed, such was their close marshalling of the race in those early stages that the bunch was still together as they commenced the first of two ascents up Box Hill.

The pace that Pooley pushed on the climb meant the bunch was quickly thinned out, and only 30-or-so riders remained as they crested the summit for the second time of asking.

It was shortly after that that 32-year-old Zabelinskaya made her move, with Armistead and Vos the only riders capable of bridging the gap.

The trio began working together effectively, and although their advantage was never allowed to extend beyond a minute, the German and Italian-led bunch were never able to haul them back.

With family and friends lining The Mall, Armitstead gave it everything she had to challenge for gold but multiple road and cyclo-cross world champion Vos proved too strong in the sprint and it was the 25 year old who crossed the line victorious.

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