Lizzie misses out on medal after battling in Rio road race

Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead following the women's road race on the second day of the Rio Olympics in Brazil. Pics: PA.
Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead following the women's road race on the second day of the Rio Olympics in Brazil. Pics: PA.
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Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead spoke of her pride after crossing the finish line in fifth place at the women’s road race in the Rio Olympics.

The 27-year-old from Otley missed out on snapping up the first medal for Team GB in Rio de Janeiro but said she ‘never gave up’.

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Speaking shortly after the race, she said: “My climbing is something I have been working on.

“I knew what I was capable of and what I had in my legs and I did my best.”

She added: “I can’t feel sorry for myself because this is sport and that’s what it’s about.

“I never gave up and for that I can be proud of myself.”

Lizzie, who picked up a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics, joined team-mates Emma Pooley and Nikki Harris for the four-hour race.

The gruelling event saw them go head-to-head with around 65 riders on the 141km route, which started and finished at Copacabana beach.

Lizzie has had a turbulent week after being provisionally suspended for missed drugs tests.

She was given a reprieve for her three whereabouts ‘failures’ when the first was declared void by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

But she looked determined as she set off on the race, with a small throng of supporters waving ‘Team Armitstead’ flags at the start line.

A mechanical problem at the beginning of the race meant she dropped back from the peloton, leaving her to push harder to catch back up with the main pack.

Lizzie added: “I am pretty exhausted and looking forward to spending time with my family and getting back to the people that love me and care about me.”

Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen won gold in the race, with a time of three hours, 51 minutes and 27 seconds.

Sweden’s Emma Johansson took home the silver medal whilst Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini was awarded the bronze medal.

Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten was involved in a serious crash as she led the race and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Van Vleuten had sped off from the pack to take the lead when she suffered a fall on the descent of the steep Vista Chinesa, where several men – including Britain’s Geraint Thomas – crashed on Saturday.

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