Lizzie Armitstead has completed her second race in the World Champion rainbow jersey, and taken her second win in the very same stripes.
The Boels Dolmans Cycling Team rider crossed the line in Siena in first place, taking the leader’s jersey for the UCI Women’s World Tour which consists of a series of classics, stage races and crits throughout the year.
Armitstead won the World Cup and World Championships last year, and looks to be in flying form ahead of the Rio Olympics.
The 121 km race is renowned for it’s dirt and gravel sections, which comprised 22 km of the total course. The 1,800 metres of elevation make this a tough race and it was expected that the winning move would come in the second half.
It was a trio of Armitstead, Wiggle High5’s Emma Johanssen and Katarzyna Niewiadoma from Rabo Liv who made the decisive move, building up a time gap of almost a minute. The final climb saw Johanssen drop from the group, to take third, with Niewiadoma in second and Yorkshire’s Lizzie in first place.
Boels-Dolmans also claimed first place last year, with Megan Guarnier on the top step – and Armitstead had hoped for a team win, saying before the race: “It doesn’t really matter if it’s a win for me or a teammate. This year, it’s a difficult season, it’s long so I don’t want too many goals. This race is a kind of on a journey to a goal I hope, so obviously the legs are good and the team wants to win. If it’s me or a teammate is not important. We have to win.”
Following her success, she commented: “Every win is special, but when you’ve got the world champion’s jersey on, it makes it a little bit more special.”
We’re so excited to follow Armitstead’s road towards Rio – it looks like it’s going to be a very successful year!