Olympic champ Laura Trott triumphs in Abergavenny
OLYMPIC track champion Laura Trott conquered the roads of Monmouthshire to claim the women’s National Road Race crown in Abergavenny.
The 22-year-old successfully defended the under-23 title she won in Glasgow last year and claimed the overall winner’s jersey on the road for the first time.
Wiggle Honda teammate and fellow Olympic team pursuit champ Dani King was second after helping Trott chase down defending champion Lizzie Armitstead on the final lap of Abergavenny town centre.
The leading trio finished the 105km course in 2 hours 44 minutes and 56 seconds.
Emma Pooley, winner of the time trial at Celtic Manor on Friday, finished fourth behind Armitstead with Cardiff teenager Elinor Barker the leading Welsh rider in eighth.
“It is such an amazing feeling,” said Trott, who finished a disappointing fifth in the time trial. “It’s up there with winning world championships for me.
“After the time trial I was really disappointed. I felt I had a lot more form than the time suggested and I didn’t understand why my time wasn’t good enough.
“So I was so up for this race. I was in the zone.
“When we started we went up a hill after about 16km and my legs were absolutely killing me.
“Lizzie just danced up it and I thought she was in a class of her own but it just played into our hands in the end.
“Lizzie attacked with three laps to go but it just didn’t open up, Dani jumped on and just gave me a perfect lead out.
“It was such an amazing feeling crossing that line because I was so surprised. You never expect to out-sprint someone like Lizzie.
“But she went a bit too early and it helped us.”
Runner-up King said: “We were getting shouted at for not chasing down Lizzie but the gap wasn’t that big so I wanted to wait and wait because I knew I had it in my legs.
“In the last climb I just gave it everything and managed to catch Lizzie and then obviously the girls caught us on the downhill and it was a sprint to the finish.
“Either of us winning would have been great and to get a one-two was perfect.”
Trott added: “It’s quite scary when you’ve got people shouting at you.
“You don’t want to upset people because off the bike they’re your mates but we had a plan and it is a race at the end of the day.”
Trott and King will be favourites to win gold for England at next month’s Commonwealth Games.
“It’s great to put a marker down ahead of Glasgow,” said King. “It means we’re in pretty good shape and now we’ve got three weeks of intense preparation in Manchester.”
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