When Lizzie became the first member of Team GB to win a medal of any colour at London 2012, she won the heart of the nation after a gutsy determined ride that saw her clinch a Silver Medal behind the cyclist of her generation, Marianne de Vos. The venue couldn’t have been more fitting as Lizzie – dubbed ‘Elizabeth the first’ by the media – finished with a sprint on the Mall and picked up her medal with a backdrop of Buckingham Palace. The event was unofficially the most widely attended event in Olympic history as crowds filled the side of the roads to cheer Lizzie and Team GB team-mates on.
A straight talking and down-to-earth Yorkshire lass, Lizzie is a talented cyclist who straddles both track and road events and has enjoyed a plethora of success in both formats.
One of British Cycling’s success stories, Lizzie has risen up through the ranks of their Olympic Programmes after being spotted on the school playing fields aged just 15. From there, her rise to fame started in 2008 as Lizzie wowed the crowds in Manchester at a UCI Track Cycling World Cup, taking a hat-trick of Gold Medals. She’s gone on to claim nine Gold Medals in Tracks World Cup Series as well as a World Championship title in the Team Pursuit. She is the current national champion in the points and scratch disciplines.
Lizzie has also enjoyed huge success on the road winning various stage races on the continent (including a stint in the white jersey on the prestigious Giro d’Italia and being crowned best young rider at La Route de France), a Silver Medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi while 2011 saw Lizzie claim the National Champion’s Jersey.
Lizzie made the difficult decision, alongside British Cycling, to compete only in the road race and time trial during the London Olympic Games, despite her track success, when it became clear that it was not going to be possible to compete in both formats. So 2012 saw Lizzie concentrate entirely on the road and sit out of the track – to great success.
The London test event at the velodrome in February also saw Lizzie take to the BBC commentary box and she has subsequently appeared as a pundit at the Revolution series events with ITV. Lizzie is also in wide demand for corporate appearances as well as being an ambassador for adidas, BP and Oakley. 2013 sees Lizzie riding for a new team Dolmans-Boels with her main goals including the Tour of Flanders, the National Championships and the World Road Championships.
“I think it’s astonishing that more people don’t know about the phenomenal work which sported. and its Members do. This is really changing young people’s lives and it deserves much greater support.”
Photo: Pete Cheshire