Olympic24: Golden day for Phillips & Armitstead

Olympic24: Golden day for Phillips & Armitstead

27 September 2015 / 08:51

It was an historic day for Liam Phillips and Lizzie Armitstead as they ruled their respective cycling roosts, while Katy Marchant and Laura Trott were once again top of the pile domestically. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Liam Phillips becomes first man to win back-to-back BMX Supercross World Cup crowns
  • Lizzie Armitstead sprints to road race title at World Championships
  • Katy Marchant and Laura Trott claim second National Track Championship golds
  • Louis Smith is not ruling out starring at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Phillips writes his name into history books

Liam Phillips 

Liam Phillips made history as he became the first man to win back-to-back BMX Supercross World Cup titles.

The 26-year-old Great Britain Cycling Team rider was sixth on a rain swept evening of racing in Rock Hill in South Carolina after unclipping from his pedal at the bottom of the start ramp in the final.

Despite the disappointment the 2013 world champion secured 135 points, more than enough to successfully defend his title after an excellent campaign.

He finished on 865 points, 130 points ahead of Dutch world champion Niek Kimmann having won three of the five rounds in the series - in Manchester, Angelholm and Santiago del Estero.

“Thanks to all my fans,” Phillips said. “It’s been a long season, I’ve had a fantastic season but at the moment I’m a little bit bitter about that last race.”

Later, Phillips wrote on Instagram: “Back to back @UCIBMXSX World Cup Champ!!!! It's been an unforgettable season & I can't thank those that support me enough. Finally, it's been a pleasure racing and battling against you all the way to stop #5, @niekkimmann. Congrats on a remarkable season.”

Armitstead sprints to world road title

Lizzie Armitstead 

The tag of world road race champion is going to take some getting used to, according to Lizzie Armitstead after she held her nerve to edge out her rivals for the title in Richmond.

After finishing seventh last year there would be no repeat this time around in America as Armitstead hit the front with a kilometre to go before holding off any late attacks to cross the line first.

The title – which ensures she will wear the rainbow jersey for the next 12 months – adds to road race medal collection that already includes Olympic silver and Commonwealth gold but crucially never a World Championships podium finish.

“This is the big one. To get to wear the rainbow jersey – it’s the most special thing in cycling – so to wear that is a dream come true,” she said.

“I just could not believe it, I did not get to celebrate as I was really going all out for the line. I was on the front, I was just waiting for the rush to come and it never came.

“I had to be patient in the race. With two laps to go I tested them on the steep cobbled climb. I thought maybe people would come across with me but they didn’t. I’m grateful that other teams had people in the front.

“It’s really strange, I can’t believe I have won, I’m still in shock.”

Marchant and Trott double up at National Track Champs

Katy Marchant 

Katy Marchant admitted she was over the moon after continuing her superb season with a second title at the British Cycling National Track Championships on Saturday with victory in the women’s keirin.

Marchant faced world-class opposition in the final, up against defending champion Jess Varnish, former world champion Becky James, Helen Scott, Victoria Williamson and Laura Trott.

But Marchant was not overawed, leaping from the back of the group at the crucial moment in the final and holding off the challenge of James, with Varnish taking bronze.

“It doesn't get much better than that does it, I'm really happy,” said the former heptathlete. “It's good to be up with such a competitive field and come out on top, for me it's just learning to race still at the moment.

“The other girls have got the experience but I've got the engine at the moment and you've got to use it when you can!”

Marchant’s feat was matched by Trott, who took her second British title of the meeting, retaining the scratch race title.

Meanwhile, Lewis Oliva won the men’s sprint title in a dominant display, dispatching the powerful Matt Rotherham in the final in two straight rides. Jonathan Mitchell took bronze, beating Peter Mitchell 2-0.

Oliva also contested the men’s kilo amid the sprint rounds but the title went to Jason Kenny, beating Matt Crampton into silver, with Steven Burke taking bronze.

Oliver Wood was crowned men’s points champion with defending champion Mark Stewart leaping into silver medal spot at the end of 160 laps of racing thanks to a last-ditch lap gain, while Chris Latham completed the podium.

And the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International squad of Katie Archibald, Dame Sarah Storey, Ciara Horne and Joanna Rowsell Shand took an emphatic win in the team pursuit catching their rivals VC St Raphael just before half distance.

Smith could prolong career until 2020


Louis Smith admits changes in the gymnastics programme for Tokyo 2020 could persuade him to prolong his sporting career.

The pommel horse specialist already has an impressive collection of medals from Olympic Games – bronze at Beijing 2008 followed by silver and team bronze at London 2012.

He took a break from the sport following the home Olympics but has since returned and is targeting a place on the team for Rio 2016.

Although the 26-year-old, who won gold at this year's European Championships in Montpellier, admits he could be tempted to go on even longer.

"I haven't made any decisions yet but I will have to listen to my body the older I get," he said.

“At the minute you only get to send a team to the Olympics Games. For the 2020 Games you can send a team but also send specialists, which completely benefits people like myself who don't do four, five, six apparatus.

"As long as I am still winning medals and one of the best in the world, the 2020 Olympic Games is a really big opportunity for me."

Sportsbeat 2015