Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy earlier today, taking the lead in the UCI World Cup in the process.
The Commonwealth Games road race champion sprinted to the win from a group of seven which formed late in the 123 kilometre race. It was another consummate performance from last year’s World Cup winner, who timed her sprint to perfection on the final uphill 300 metres.
Run on a hilly course north of Milan, the climbs proved decisive, attacks reducing the peloton, until the final section was made on the penultimate of five laps. Armitstead was outnumbered with two Rabo-Liv riders in the five-woman escape. However, the 26 year old remained composed, even when World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot attacked on the final climb.
“There were two Rabobank and they threw everything at me,” said Armitstead, who finished second in this race last year. “Actually it worked out OK that Pauline was in front on the final climb, because I could bring her back in my own time.”
On the final 7.5 km from the top of the final climb to the finish, the group grew to seven as tactics began to play their part. “In the final I was confident in my sprint, I just had to make sure we stayed together. So I rode on one side of the road and made sure that I could see any attacks for the last three kilometres. And it worked!”
The race was not a particular target for Armitstead, who was seeking confirmation of her form prior to her first big target, the Tour of Flanders, next week. “To prove again that we are the strongest team and the one to beat in Flanders was a good feeling,” she added.
Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2015, 123.7km
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv
3. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabobank-Liv
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda
5. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio-SRAM