14 November 2019

Sportsister meets Lizzie Armitstead

July 21, 2011

22-year-old Lizzie Armitstead began her career as a late comer to the world of professional cycling. At the age of 16 she was discovered during a Champ Identification Programme and has since become a British world champion in track and road cycling.

Lizzie Armitstead and Hornby taxi“Basically, a van with bikes came to school and gave everyone a go around the field. I did well around the school field and got through to the next stage of testing. From there I was given a bike and got onto the junior programme and it just kind of happened, it all spiralled from there.”

Getting into cycling at such a late age is unusual for such a successful competitor. Lizzie played hockey in school and enjoys watching athletics but had not considered a career in cycling.

“I’d always had a bike for playing around on and taking on family holidays but I’d never raced before the programme arrived at school.”

Since this late but lucky break, Lizzie has not let anything stand in her way with her cycling success. It is her natural talent, hard work and determination, passion and enthusiasm and also quiet confidence that has led to her success.

In 2009, at the age of just 20, she won a full set of medals, gold, silver and bronze at the Track World Championships in Poland. Her determination shone through during the points race as she rode with her right wrist bandaged up following an injury.

Lizzie has even higher aspirations for the 2012 Olympics.

“I want to win the Olympics,” she states boldly yet without arrogance and claims that the nerves have not hit her yet.

“I’m just so excited. Not nervous yet, just excited about it all and so motivated to train harder than I’ve ever trained before. It’s going to be hard not to get overwhelmed as it gets closer but hopefully I’ll be used to all the media attention and the buzz of it by then.”

All this hard work and training has an obvious effect on the young athlete’s life. How does she relax and unwind when she isn’t training or competing?

“I live in Belgium during the summer so I spend a lot of time on Skype, talking to friends and family. I like to watch films and read but I don’t have any other hobbies because I just don’t have the time. The sacrifices are definitely worth it for me at the minute. With London just around the corner, I’d be crazy not to give it everything. I’ve got a long life ahead of my cycling career where I can hopefully make it up to my friends and family.”

Lizzie has injected some different training methods into her already rigorous routine in preparation for the Olympics. She is aware that the strong Dutch team are her main competition, both on the road and on the track, and having this thought in the back of her mind is what pushes her to train even harder.

“There is a lot of hard work and training that goes into the race. I’ve been doing some different things recently. I’ve been doing some gym work to try and improve my peak power and I’m giving that extra little push on every ride I do. It is always at the back of my mind to try and push over every hill that I ride over and push as hard as I can.

Lizzie Armitstead is an ambassador for the new Hornby Olympic range. For more information on Corgi taxis, Hornby Olympic trains and the eagerly awaited Scalextric Velrodome (out in September) visitwww.hornby.com

Monica Stott, Sportsister
The Women’s Sport Magazine

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Cycling: Armitstead abandons plans to ride in the omnium at London 2012 | Sportsister

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