DESPITE her painful crash in after winning the first stage of last week's Aviva Women's Tour Lizzie Armitstead is still the favourite to win Sunday's National Road Championship at Lincoln.

Among those tipping the 26-year-old Otley rider for glory is the defending champion Laura Trott,

The Olympic silver medallist returned to the top of the UCI Women’s World Cup standings with a fantastic victory in the recent Philadelphia Cycling Classic.

With momentum behind her Armitstead, who won the 2014 World Cup series, will look to win a third National title in five years.

Trott, a double Olympic champion on the track, upset Armitstead in Wales last year by catching the then-defending champion in the closing stages and coming out on top in a sprint for the finish.

But given Armitstead’s recent ominous form, Trott believes her British rival will be desperate to ensure last year’s wrongs of a third-place finish are put right.

“Lizzie is absolutely flying right now but she is always flying,” said Trott.

“I think last year she actually just got a bit caught out and there were a lot of people that wanted to work against her as it were, she didn’t have any team-mates, and that sort of worked to my advantage.

“Whereas this year I don’t think she will make the same mistake and she will learn from last year.

“People think there is a massive rivalry between us but I like to see the girls I used to train with and grew up with doing well and she won a World Cup just last weekend and she is ranked number one in the world, which is phenomenal.

“The road hasn’t been that high a target, I do it because I enjoy it and it does give me a bit of freedom from the track season but for her road is everything.

“It is a shame she doesn’t do more races in Britain because it really is just the Nationals that I only come up against Lizzie and a lot of the girls.

“It’s nice that the big names do come out and put on a bit of a show.”

Since winning last year’s race Trott has moved from Wiggle Honda to the smaller Matrix Fitness outfit, a decision that has allowed her to pick and chose her races carefully as she looks to qualify for Team GB’s track squad for Rio 2016.

And although winning a national title last year was a bonus, Trott believes a repeat this year would prove how much she has improved as a rider on the road.

“It’s weird this year because I am defending champion and that has never happened to me before,” she added.

“Normally I just turn up and maybe people expect me to medal but never to win so this year expectations will be high again.

“We went down to Lincoln for a training camp and to have a look at the course and I do like the course but I think it’s going to stay in a much bigger group this year whereas last year obviously there were only three of us left.

“There will be a different dynamic to it but my training has been going really well so hopefully it will go okay.”

PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR – Laura Trott was speaking ahead of this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on August 2. For more information visit: