Armitstead had just won the 112 km opening stage and was celebrating when she came down, hitting a group of officials and photographers. She had not braked at the time of impact.
After over 30 minutes of treatment on the road, during which 26-year-old Armitstead was placed in a neck brace and apparently sedated, she was taken to Norwich Hospital where her condition was assessed.
Despite initial reports at the scene, it was found she had not suffered any serious injury. However, she will not start Thursday’s stage two, instead choosing to recover and prepare for the nationals, which take place in Lincoln on June 28.
The crash seems to have occurred when she was blown off course whilst celebrating her win causing her to veer into the finish line photographers. The wind, which had been brisk throughout the stage between Bury St Edmunds and Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, seems to have caught her bike, pushing her sharply to her left.
A number of other riders were brought down in the incident, though no other serious injuries have been reported.
Amitstead had insisted the race was not a priority for her, telling us earlier: “Whenever I put myself under pressure to win something it doesn’t come off”.
Despite consistent form throughout 2014, during which Armitstead won the Women’s World Cup, she failed to finish last year’s Women’s Tour, withdrawing after the penultimate stage without a win.
The Commonwealth champion has been in scintillating form this year. She currently leads the overall classification in the Women’s World Cup, having won the Trofeo Binda in March and the most recent round, the Parx Casino Philly Classic in America earlier this month. Including today’s stage, she has won her last three races, taking he total for the year to seven.
Organisers, Sweetspot released a statement: “After crossing the line with her hands in the air, stage winner Lizzie Armitstead appeared to lose control and veer left, clipping photographers positioned across the finish line.
“Lizzie was immediately attended to by race medical staff at the finish line who dealt with the incident before she was taken to hospital.
“Everyone from the Aviva Women’s Tour wishes Lizzie all the best for a speedy recovery and will make no further comment at this stage.”
The race itself was gripping throughout, a group of six riders escaped, including Britons Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) and Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness). One rider, Heather Fischer (USA) crashed, and Archibald dropped back to the peloton with 15km remaining.
The remaining four were caught only about 100 metres from the line, after which Armitstead crashed.
Tomorrow’s second stage tackles a 138 km route between Braintree and Clacton in Essex.
Aviva Women’s Tour 2015, stage one: Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh, 112.6km
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans in 2-39-53
2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
4. Simona Frapporti (Ita) Ale Cipollini
5. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda
6. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo-Liv
7. Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
8. Alexis Ryan (USA) UnitedHealthcare
9. Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Bigla
10. Aude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86 all same time
Overall classification after stage one
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans
2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM at 4 secs
3. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini at 5 secs
4. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS at 6 secs
5. Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 6 secs
6. Elinor Barker (GBr) Matrix Fitness at 7 secs
7. Simona Frapporti (Ita) Ale Cipollini at 10 secs
8. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda at 10 secs
9. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo-Liv at 10 secs
10. Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86 at 10 secs
Wiggle Honda on the Women’s Tour