Disappointing end to Lizzie Armitstead's week of turmoil as she finishes fifth

Rio Olympic Games 2016 - Day Two

Lizzie Armitstead's week of turmoil ended in Olympic disappointment at Copacabana beach as Holland's Anna van der Breggen won a dramatic road race gold.

Embattled world champion Armitstead was given a Rio reprieve over three whereabouts 'failures' when the first was declared void by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

But Britain's first medallist of London 2012, with silver on The Mall behind Marianne Vos, could only finish fifth in the 137-kilometres road race.

Holland's Annemiek van Vleuten led with less than 11km to go, but crashed dramatically on the descent which had ended men's road race leader Vincenzo Nibali's chances 24 hours earlier.

That allowed Mara Abbott of the United States to take the lead, with Sweden's Emma Johansson, Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Van der Breggen Holland in pursuit.

Abbott had an advantage of almost 40 seconds as the descent flattened out, but was caught in the final 200m and denied a medal.

Van der Breggen took gold, Johansson silver and Longo Borghini bronze.

It was agonising for Abbott as she missed out on a medal of any colour.

So too did Armitstead on a brutal course which was about survival of the fittest.

Armitstead, after being escorted by team officials to sign on for the start alongside her team-mates Emma Pooley and Nikki Harris, was cheered by a small throng of supporters waving Union Flags with "Team Armitstead" inscribed upon them and a banner on which "Go Lizzie" was written.

The 27-year-old from Otley had her sunglasses on her helmet and a steeliness about her eyes on her arrival at the start after a trying week.

Armitstead had been provisionally suspended by UK Anti-Doping on July 11 for three whereabouts 'failures'.

CAS ruled in her favour, scrubbing the first 'strike' from her record, but her results will forever have an asterisk alongside in the eyes of many who believe she should not have been in Rio at all and should instead be serving a two-year suspension.

Questions remain, but Armitstead was unable to fan the flames of controversy by winning a medal.