Lizzie Brings it Home for Britain
Before the Tour of Britain even began we told you Boels Dolmans was the team to beat, after dominating the Womenâ€™s World Tour all season long. Well we werenâ€™t wrongâ€¦ with Lizzie Armitstead bringing home the yellow jersey after the raceâ€™s final stage in Northamptonshire on Sunday.
Armitstead has made no secret that her number one aim for the season will be to take Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. However, if she wasnâ€™t giving the Womenâ€™s Tour 100% weâ€™d hate to see her going full gas after she dominated proceedings from the third stage onwards. On the 2016 routeâ€™s hilliest day, a 110km dash around the Peak District, Armitstead managed to ride into the lead, after chasing down the dayâ€™s break, then ditching it to press on â€“ accompanied by only the strongest riders left from the escape.
From there on it was a case of controlling matters, rather than chasing, a position Armitstead â€“ backed by the exceptional roster of riders Boels Dolmans has put together â€“was more than comfortable in. Things looked a little dicy on the final day when a group of riders managed to get two minutes clear â€“ including riders within that time of Armitstead on GC â€“ but the Specialized-sponsored super-team managed to safely reel them in before the finish.
Of course, the Armitstead victory was far from a sure thing, with Marianne Vos returning to her competitive best after two years blighted by injury. Vos, riding for her Rabo-Liv team, held the yellow jersey at the end of stage two, but didnâ€™t quite manage to replicate the storming performances that saw her crowned champion at the 2014 edition of the race. Nevertheless, the rider they call â€˜the Cannibalâ€™ did manage to claim the points classification.
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio of Team Cervelo Bigla also put in a spirited attempt to wrest the yellow from the Britonâ€™s shoulders, finishing just 11 seconds down on GC after the final day.
Believe it or not, despite being one of the strongest women in the pro-peloton and a homegrown British rider, Armitstead has never before won the Womenâ€™s Tour of Britain and she was quick to thank the supporters who lined the roads in their hundreds.
Thanks to all the supports on the side of the road over the last 5 days, it made me proud to be British ðŸ˜„ sorry to those who I missed withðŸ“·ðŸ“— Lizzie Armitstead (@L_ArmiTstead) June 19, 2016
When asked about the success of her team this season, Lizzie was quick to credit the teamâ€™s backers, â€œWe have fantastic sponsors, Specialized being onboard is huge for us, we have the best equipment, I think, in the Womenâ€™s peloton.â€
Armitstead and her team ride Specializedâ€™s Amira womenâ€™s racing frames, which you can check out by clicking here. The Amira is a finely-honed speed machine and features a stiff, super-responsive carbon frame built around our women-specific geometry â€“ to give you the absolute best bang for your buck.
Another star from our womenâ€™s range of road bikes is the Ruby, which promises more comfort with only the slightest sacrifice in speed â€“ compare with the Amira. This is a top-of-the-line endurance bike, to take you wherever you want to ride, however long it takes. Zertz inserts help take some of the road chatter out of the ride experience, with a slightly slacker geometry giving you a more upright ride position.
Created for those with an adventurous spirit, the Dolce is all about exploring. Whether thatâ€™s taking a new route to a familiar place or pedalling out into the countryside to discover new frontiers. Sitting at the top of the Dolce range is the Comp Evo, which benefits from our incredible SmartWeld technology â€“ for a lighter, stiffer aluminium frame thatâ€™s capable of competing with carbon equivalents
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