“Rio is the biggest goal of my season and of my career. I can pretend that I’m not too bothered and it’s not that big a deal but it is and it’s what I want, so I have to put all my eggs in one basket and go for it.” Lizzie Armitstead is in a bullish mood but she has every reason to be.The Yorkshire-born rider has firmly established herself as the leading female cyclist in the world and, having won the World Championships in 2015, she now wants an Olympic gold medal. Victories came consistently throughout the season, from the Ladies Tour of Qatar in February to the World Championships in September.Family and friends gathered for the celebration with crowds of well wishers gathered in the autumn sunshine outside the Victorian church.Ironically Lizzie was held up on her way to the Church when her vintage coach got caught behind a loan cyclist.After being cleared to ride the Games at the final hour following a successful court appeal to overturn an alleged missed drugs test, the ensuing leak and backlash threatened to engulf her.Now, for the first time, she tells her story, and reveals how she went from World Champion and darling of Team GB road cycling, to one of the most scrutinised athletes in British sport – how it happened, why it happened, and how Lizzie cleared her name and came out fighting.
That was a race which Armitstead left with not only a gold medal hanging around her neck, but the confidence to dictate a race.
Unlucky for some, it’s appropriately entitled All The Roads Have Potholes and deals with those missed drugs tests which last year saw Armitstead facing a four year ban under the sport’s ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule.
Her appeal against one of the missed tests was subsequently upheld, but the furore overshadowed the 28-year-old’s Rio Olympics and in the minds of many cast doubts on both her past achievements and her future in the sport.
They’re one of sport’s best known couples - and today they tied the knot.
Team Sky cyclist Philip Deignan from Letterkenny and Olympian Lizzie Armitstead got married in Lizzie’s home town of Otley in West Yorkshire.