lizzie armitstead

Lizzie Armitstead leads the UCI Road World Cup after a thrilling round six in Philadelphia.

The Philly Cycling Classic took place yesterday and was a six lap race, totalling just under 74 miles.

[related_articles]The result puts Boels Dolmans rider Armitstead in the lead overall with 315 points, ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda), with 296, and Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) in third at 290.

This year’s women’s race was lengthened, whilst the men’s event was made shorter to cater for a tight time frame. The 12 mile circuit featured a climb up Lemon Hill, and Strawberry Mansion, with a leg sapping finish atop the Manayunk Wall.

An early breakaway from Jasmin Glaesser (Optum) and Alison Jackson (Twenty16-Sho-Air) four laps in threatened to split the race but Armitstead remained in the chasing group, which caught the unsuccessful riders with ease.

The peloton became smaller over every loop, with a select group at the front by the time the bell heralded the final round.

A nail biting closing lap saw attacks from Charlotte Becker (Hitec) at Lemon Hill, then Lex Albrecht (Optum). Both were caught with a train from Twenty16 but Ale-Cipollini’s Dalia Mucciolo made a break for it.

Eventually it was Velocio-SRAM’s train which pulled back the breakaway, bringing a larger peloton to the line, from which British rider Armitstead sprung, to take the sprint finish.

The next UCI Women’s World Cup race will be the Sparkassen Giro in Germany, on August 2, and there will be just three more races after that, with the final event taking place on August 29.

Racing comes to Britain with the Women's Tour on June 17 - here's your Essential Guide to the 2015 Aviva Women's Tour.