Martin happy to help team

26 July 2012 / 16:48

Lucy Martin will perform a selfless role in support of Great Britain team-mate Lizzie Armitstead in Sunday's Olympic Games cycling road race.

As demonstrated in the Tour de France, when sprint king Mark Cavendish collected bottles for Bradley Wiggins, who repaid his Team Sky colleague by leading him into finishes and wins in Brive-la-Gaillarde and Paris, cycling is very much a team pursuit.

Martin said: "I'll be there to support Lizzie, anything she needs. Just protect her, keep her out of the wind and make sure she doesn't have to exert herself too much until the final moment."

Sunday's 140-kilometre women's road race, which starts and finishes on The Mall, will be unpredictable and Britain need to adapt to how the event unfolds on the road.

Martin has been selected specifically to ride alongside and look after Armitstead, who is the nominated leader if the race finishes in a sprint, with 2008 champion Nicole Cooke, who will be given licence to roam, and Emma Pooley completing the team.

While cycling is a team sport, individuals are rewarded the medals. Women's road coach Chris Newton said: "For any athlete to commit so much to not win and to put another athlete in a winning position, it's almost like you're rewarding a striker in football and the rest of the team getting nothing."

The role is easier for Martin to fulfil as the 22-year-old from Widnes and Armitstead are close friends, who train and race together all year round.

"I race with her the whole year, we share a room all the time, so I know her really well," Martin added. "That's really helpful for in the race - she can just look at me and I know how she's feeling."

Martin and Armitstead were selected on Britain's provisional list on June 13 and a week later confirmed in the final squad. Earlier in the month Martin had taken a photograph on her mobile phone of The Mall during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and sent it to Armitstead, heightening the excitement and nerves of her team-mate ahead of the Games.

"That was a nice, inspiring photo," Martin said. "The Jubilee was a nice warm-up to see how big it can be on that finishing section, with the flags and everything. Even now I think it's going to be big. But when I get there it's going to be bigger than I can imagine."