After a breakaway group seemed to put the Yorkshire woman out of contention in the penultimate lap of the 2015 UCI World Road Race Championships, the peloton managed to reel them in, allowing Armitstead to launch a series of attacks ending in a sprint finish over the line just half a bike’s length in front of Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen.
Having now won Commonwealth, National and World Champion titles, Armitstead’s sights are firmly fixed on the Rio Olympics next year.
At the award ceremony in London, the Boels-Dolmans rider was presented with her brand new custom S-Works Amira in front of that photograph of her crossing the line, hand over mouth.
Yorkshire’s lizzie armitstead crosses the line in virginia:
She said: “It’s a strange feeling becoming World Champion and it’s one that I prepared so well for; I’d thought about the process of the race and I had a strategy and I executed it, and I just didn’t think about that moment and I think I was just thinking: ‘Oh God, I’ve done it’, that’s what I was thinking in that picture.
“Rio is the ultimate goal, definitely. My dream has always been, since getting a silver in London, to call myself an [Olympic] champion. I managed to get the commonwealth title, the national title, the world title, so I need to complete the set.”
From her home in Monaco where, thanks to the consistent weather Armitstead says, she climbs 1000m a day “without even trying”, Britain’s new world champion will put in the long winter miles that will form a base for the 2016 season. As well as Rio, the Tour of Flanders is also on the Yorkshire woman’s list, a race she describes as “notoriously hard, with notoriously bad weather”, something that appeals to her love of suffering on the bike. “It makes me feel alive”, she says.
Here’s a look at Armitstead’s S-Works Amira. Made from Specialized’s FACT carbon fibre, it’s liveried with custom graphics, and a SRAM Red groupset – that’s the cable version rather than the eTap wireless model used by AG2R La Mondiale this race season – with SRAM Red DoubleTap shifters. The chainset is Specialized’s S-Works, featuring hollow carbon fibre crank arms and SRAM Red chainrings. Zipp components (owned by SRAM) include carbon all-rounder wheels, the Firecrest 404, with Zipp stem and seatpost. Those wheels are fitted with S-Works Turbo tubular tyres.
World champ colours run in an oblique stripe across the top tube: world champ colours run in an oblique stripe across the top tube
The custom paint job features a heavy dose of rainbow fleck against a white background, while the World Champion colours – blue, red, black, yellow, green – run in geometric blocks in an oblique stripe across the top tube, the same colours picked out in different combinations across the bike.
Lizzie Armitstead’s new S-Works Amira: complete bike specs
Frame: Specialized S-Works Amira, size 51cm
Stem: Zipp SL Sprint stem 130mm
Handlebar: Zipp Service Course SL88 7TL-71 Alloy 40mm
Laura Laker has been writing about cycling as a means of transport and leisure pursuit for a decade. For fun she likes bikepacking and touring, off-road adventures and unlikely solo escapades on inappropriate bikes. She has ridden an ebike the length of the UK, crossed Dartmoor on a heavily laden commuter bike in freezing rain, and was once overtaken on Mount Lemmon by Alberto Contador. She has written for the Guardian, Sunday Times, Huffington Post, and many cycling titles.