Cycling: Armitstead heads up GB qualifiers for Rio Olympics road race

Lizzie Armitstead
Lizzie Armitstead
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Great Britain have qualified three riders – one short of the maximum – for the Rio Olympics women’s road race.

The UCI, cycling’s world governing body, yesterday announced the quotas and Britain received the expected allocation. World champion Lizzie Armitstead is the likely team leader for the Rio road race on the second day of the Games on Sunday, August 7.

Armitstead won Britain’s first medal of the London 2012 Olympics with silver in the road race on The Mall and will be looking to go one better in Rio. Emma Pooley has come out of retirement – where she has been racing in long-distance triathlons and duathlons – to vie for Olympic selection and the hilly route should suit her.

Dani King, who won team pursuit gold on the track at London 2012, is among those vying to start the road race. The team is slated to be announced later this month.

Pooley will also be the favourite to take the one time-trial spot Britain have earned.

The 33-year-old won Olympic silver in Beijing eight years ago, but the flat course at London 2012 countered against her characteristics as she finished sixth. She will be optimistic of improving in Rio in the race against the clock, which takes place on August 10.

Australia, Holland, Germany and the United States have qualified the maximum number of riders in both disciplines, with four in the road race and two in the time-trial.