Lizzie Armitstead has said
that her recent comments about Great Britain team-mate Nicole Cooke’s performance at the 2011 world championships were ‘blown out of all proportion’.

During an interview conducted for Cycling Weekly’s sister magazine Cycle Sport last month, Armitstead had said that Cooke had ridden the 2011 road race world championship “for herself” and that Armitstead had “never seen her work for a team-mate”. The comments were picked up by mainstream media.

“I got a few headlines the other day for my comments about Nicole Cooke and me at the world championships,” Armitstead said in her Evening Standard column. “You say one thing over a cup of tea and it gets blown out of all proportion!”

“It’s been made out to be quite a big deal but Nicole is a fantastic bike rider and she deserves to be a team leader when she’s on her best form. We’re just working to have the best team possible to go for gold at next year’s Games – everyone wants that.”

Armitstead has withdrawn from the London 2012 track team to concentrate on contesting the road race for Great Britain. Cooke enters the road race as defending champion, having won gold in the event in the 2008 Beijing Games.

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  • Angharad

    Nicole Cooke on her day could teach the rest of the GB team a few things, including young Armitstead. Seeing as Cervelo are dropping the women’s team, she might see how difficult it was for Cooke to race without a regular team. Cooke is still one of the best women cyclists in the world and I’d love to see her win it a second time, especially in front of a home crowd.

  • Ken Evans

    Copenhagen was a flat course,
    a sprint finish was expected.
    Armitstead is quite fast (as is Cooke),
    it was thought Armitstead had good form
    (had recently won the UK road title)
    and was a better bet than Cooke.

    Armitstead also had some Garmin-Cervelo team mates,
    to assist her during the race.

    In the end the race was very negative and tactical,
    it would have taken a brave attack by some Brits
    to avoid a bunch sprint.

    Nobody had the courage to go with the attack of Clara Hughes,
    which was a bit early anyway.

    Cooke has brilliant tactical abilities,
    she can read a race really well,
    if she had wanted to make a break,
    then her team mates should have helped her.

    Leaving it down to a sprint after a soft race,
    is a gamble when fast finishers (such as Vos,
    with her excellent Dutch team) are in the race.

  • stuart stanton

    Dai’s missus is not allowed to comment on this ite, but if she could, the first thing to ask is how come BC have let Nicole down so badly by not promoting her as the defending Olympic Champion

  • Jon Freeman

    In the comments above Lizzie Armitstead doesn’t appear to be retracting what she said. She appears to be expressing surprise that the comments were broadcast as widely as they were. Is she saying that she doesn’t speak the truth “over a cup of tea”? I don’t think the above comments imply that. Probably her comments were correctly interpreted first time round and maybe she should not have been quite so open in an interview. If they were blokes they would probably kiss and make up like Wiggo and Cav!

  • J Dunn

    If you don’t want your comments to be misunderstood then don’t say anything!