Armitstead and Cooke lead GB women's cycling team

Lizzie Armitstead, London Surrey Cycle Classic training, Saturday August 13

Lizzie Armitstead and Nicole Cooke have both been selected as part of the four-rider team that will attempt to defend the Olympic road race title.

The pair will be joined by Emma Pooley and Lucy Martin who has been selected for her first Games ahead of Sharon Laws.

Both Pooley and Armitstead will also ride the women's time trial on August 1.

Armitstead's sprint has long singled her out as a contender for the women's road race that takes place on July 29, the day after the men's race, although the team will need unity if they are to beat the likes of Marianne Vos and Judith Arndt.

At the world championships in Copenhagen last year Armitstead's chances of a gold medal were lost after a crash in the final stages meant she and Cooke lost each other. Cooke was meant to lead Armitstead out, but, thinking she was on her own, sprinted for the win herself.

Armitstead spoke out earlier in the year in an exclusive interview with our sister magazine Cycle Sport, but they have since patched things up. 

Cooke won the cycling teams first Olympic gold in Beijing in spectacular fashion, and won the world title later that same year. Since then she has struggled to regain her 2008 form.

Armitstead has broken Cooke's outstanding run of national titles and is the faster sprinter of the two. The women's road race only covers two laps of the Box Hill loop and is consequently expected to finish in a bunch sprint.

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