Armitstead confident GB will surprise

27 July 2012 / 13:34

Lizzie Armitstead is adamant team unity and the potential to surprise will be strengths of Great Britain's female cyclists in Sunday's Olympic road race.

Britain have options in their four-rider team, with Armitstead joined by 2008 Olympic champion Nicole Cooke, Emma Pooley and Lucy Martin.

Armitstead: "I'm looking forward to it. Other nations are looking at us and are worried about us, which is a good position to be in.

"There's no obvious tactic for us. No-one's going to underestimate Nicole Cooke or Emma Pooley or me and then you've got Lucy, who potentially could surprise as well. I think we've got a well-rounded team."

The tactical options Britain can deploy are seen as an advantage in a hectic race difficult to predict.

Britain favour a fast and aggressive approach to whittle down the contenders and should Armitstead be in the front group through Richmond Park and heading towards The Mall, she will be supported to go for the line.

"I have waves of nerves, but the general feeling is excitement," said the 23-year-old from Otley, who will be supported by Martin throughout the day.

"I'm just thankful it's here now. I can't change it now. I've got the form I've got and I'll just have to use it to the best of my ability on Sunday.

"I'm not sure what to expect. It's my first Olympics and it's a smaller bunch than I've ever ridden in before, but a more competitive bunch. All the best girls are there.

"It will be an interesting race. I'm happy enough to ride off instinct and not worry too much beforehand what's going to happen.

"The harder the race, the better for me. I've got a fast finish, but it helps if the race has been hard, especially over the climb.

"I can climb better than most sprinters can, so that would be ideal for me."