Wiggins and Armitstead win titles


Bradley Wiggins competes in the British National Championships

Wiggins is in good form going into next month’s Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins and Lizzie Armitstead claimed their first British National Championships road race titles in Northumberland.

Wiggins pulled away on the final lap to beat Wales’s defending champion Geraint Thomas into second place.

Armitstead beat 10-time winner Nicole Cooke to take her crown.

The 64-mile race came down to a sprint finish with Armitstead first, Olympic champion Cooke second and Sharon Laws claiming third place.

Armitstead, 22, the 2009 and 2010 runner-up, said: “Finally, thank God. I’ve been getting too many silvers.

“It was made a lot easier by the other girls in the break.”

Four riders went clear on the Ryals climb on the opening lap – Cooke (MCipollini-Giambenini) and Garmin-Cervelo trio Armitstead, Laws and Emma Pooley, the defending champion.

Armitstead added: “It was anybody’s race. Emma and Sharon were attacking and Nicole did a lot of chasing.


Lizzie Armitstead celebrates victory

Armitstead prevailed in the dash for the finish line

“Sharon went with 250 metres to go and I was planning to go with 200 left. It was a long sprint but felt good.”

Cooke’s first British title came in 1999 and a run of nine straight successes from 2001 came to an end last year.

She had no complaints about the result, saying: “Coming into the sprint I had my markers of when I wanted to go.

“Lizzie anticipated me and she was stronger on the day.”

Wiggins was amongst a 12-man break which dominated the early pace in the men’s race.

The trio worked together before Wiggins seized on the final lap, powering ahead to add the road race title to his time trial crown.

Competing against Wiggins in next month’s Tour de France will be Swiss champion Fabian Cancellara. He beat Steve Morabito to take his second national title.

In Luxembourg, Frank Schleck beat younger brother Andy to win the National Road Championship.

Article source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/sport1/hi/cycling/13920150.stm

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