London 2012 Olympic Games road race hopeful Lizzie Armitstead has said that there will be no ‘grudge match’ between herself and defending Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.

Armitstead told the Yorkshire Evening Post that she had spoken with British team-mate Cooke after accusing her of “riding for herself” at the 2011 road race world championships and that she had never seen Cooke “work for a team-mate”.

Armitstead made the comments during an interview with Cycle Sport magazine in November, and the quotes were quickly picked up by the mainstream media.

“We’ve had a conversation and it’s behind us,” Armitstead told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“I’m sure the media would love us to have a grudge match all the way until the Games but it’s just not the way it is.”

Armitstead said that she will not be aiming to repeat Cooke’s 2008 feat of winning both the Olympic Games and world championship road races.

“The world championships are not my main focus to be honest because they are in Holland and they finish on the top of a very steep climb, which suits Emma Pooley perfectly,” Armitstead said.

“I want to be the leader at the Olympics on the London course because I believe it is perfectly suited to me and I think the Worlds course is perfectly suited to Emma, so without a doubt I’ll be working for Emma there.”

Armitstead spoke during a visit to her old primary school in her hometown of Otley, where she challenged pupils to a game on Scalextric’s London 2012 track cycling set. 

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  • Charles Rhind

    What exactly is Lizzie Armitstead’s ‘recent form’ that makes her the preferred choice? She is far from being a big hitter in the World Cup road races and her national road race title depended, for the second year running, on Cervelo working over Nicole Cooke.

  • Charles Rhind

    Somebody at British Cycling needs to tell Lizzie Armitstead to shut up. Whatever meeting took place has not moved anything on from her initial comments. She still deludes herself regarding the reason for her failure at the worlds – i.e. poor positioning, even before she was held up – and continues to talk as though Nicole Cooke is the invisible woman. Lizzie Armitstead needs to realise that at the Olympics and Worlds she rides for Great Britain, not team Cervelo or its replacement.

  • Keith Oates

    To me that interview confirms there is a problem between her and Nicole and she is as good as saying Nicole will not feature in any gold medal wins this year.

  • Simon E

    I’d suggest that, based on recent form, Armitstead would be the preferred pick. I suspect this Cooke-v-Armitstead thing is something the media are more bothered about than the riders themselves.

  • angharad

    Who does Lizzie think she is? Cooke has a proven record at this level so perhaps the upstart should think about supporting who has the best chance to win instead of shooting her mouth off.