Lizzie Armitstead admitted the pace had not been to her liking as she finished seventh in the women’s World Championships road race in Spain.
The 25-year-old came into Saturday’s race full of confidence having claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as well as the UCI women’s World Cup title this summer.
But while the undulating nature of the 127.4km appeared to play to her strengths, the London 2012 road race silver medallist missed out in the final sprint, as France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took victory.
It was frustrating for Armitstead who had produced a tactically astute ride, sheltering in the peloton for the majority of the race, including avoiding a huge crash which saw more than a dozen riders hit the ground on lap two.
Towards the top of the final ascent, Armitstead went clear alongside Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson and Elisa Longo Borghini with the quartet maintaining their advantage into the closing stages.
But with no one wanting to take the initiative before the final sprint, they were swallowed up by the chasing group in the final 500m, much to Armitstead’s disappointment.
“I put all my eggs in one basket on that last climb. In the sprint, I got on [Giorgia] Bronzini’s wheel - I thought that was the best option,” she said.
“I just messed it up. It’s difficult to re-focus with 500m to go in a sprint after I had committed to that move.
“The race was just too easy, which sounds ridiculous when I didn’t win, but it was too easy. It needed to be harder so much earlier in the race. Everyone just played sprinter cards. It was just a negative race.”
© Sportsbeat 2014