Lizzie Armitstead insists that her new status as world champion does not mean she is favourite to win gold at next year’s Olympic road race, but she still thinks she is capable of winning.
The Brit, who won the rainbow stripes in Richmond in September, told Sky Sports News HQ that the course in Rio more suits the climbers in the peloton.
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Having claimed the World Championships title and two consecutive UCI World Cup crowns, the only medal that is missing from her impressive palmares is Olympic gold, but Armitstead admits she’ll be up against it in Rio.
“The course in Rio is not ideal and doesn’t suit me really,” she said. “It’s brutal. It’s just lots and lots of climbing, and I can climb, but we are talking mountains. It’s really, really difficult. I know I am capable, but I don’t think I am favourite going into it.
“The pressure for me is lifted being world champion. But I don’t see it as pressure being world champion in an Olympic year. It just gives me confidence that I have delivered under pressure and that I can do it again.”