Since my first blog last month there’s been a few changes in my life. First of all I am now engaged to my fiancée Phil and I also won gold in the Road World Championships in Richmond – you could say it’s been a pretty eventful month!
Lizzie Armitstead – Flying to America
Before the big individual race we had a team trial race which went really well for our team. The race was really big for my bike sponsor Specialized as it was an opportunity to show off how good their equipment was and that made it quite a high pressured environment.
As ever we went into it hoping to win it but in the end we grabbed silver, missing out on gold by six seconds. We averaged 49km/h and so despite this sustained quick pace, we were just beaten by a better team on the day.
We’d flown to the US a week before the team trial event, mainly to get over the jetlag. Richmond has a six hour time difference to my usual time zone, so when you’re used to training from very early on in the day, your body needs to adjust to that and I was happy with how I adapted.
Going for gold
After the team trial event came the individual race, but there was a week gap in between which made for the longest week of my life! Because you’re not training that much there isn’t much to take your mind off the enormity of the upcoming race, it’s just resting and sleeping. Even resting was difficult because the time difference meant I couldn’t talk to my friends in the evening!
Luckily and despite all of this, I had a good plan, stuck to it and it all worked out. I knew the attack in the last climb wasn’t going to be the winning move – I did it to soften up the competition a bit and drop some of the pack. If I hadn’t have attacked then I could’ve been under threat from more riders and it fortunately went to plan!
As I crossed the line I looked pretty emotional but that was because everything came as one big release. When you’re preparing and even riding, all you’re thinking about is trying to get to that finish line and when I got there I didn’t even put my hands up because I was so shocked.
I’d genuinely never even thought about crossing the line and winning, so when it really happened it was a very emotional moment for me. It now means I’ve ticked a massive life and career box and ultimately it’s a dream come true.
After celebrating that evening in Richmond I flew back to Ireland to be with my fiancée and later this week I’m very briefly going home to see my sister and her new baby. After this I’m going to book a holiday before training starts up again in November – it’s been an incredibly tough, but successful, past few months and it’s important to rest.
Finally I’d like to thank my sponsors, friends and family and my whole Boels Dolmans team as I couldn’t have achieved what I have this year without them.