Lizzie Holden lays down marker at European Road Championships

Lizzie Holden of the Drops Cycling Team
Lizzie Holden took two medals at the recent British national championships

Manx cyclist Lizzie Holden continued her run of form this summer with a strong performance at the European Road Championships in the Netherlands.

Holden, 21, took sixth in the under-23 time trial before testing her rivals with a lengthy attack in the road race.

Her trade team manager Bob Varney called her "a class act" and said she had "stepped up a level" this season.

The results come after two podium finishes in the same events at the British national championships in June.

She will now have her sights set on earning selection for her first Road World Championships, which take place in Yorkshire next month.

Holden, who usually rides for the trade team Drops, is one of two Manx riders competing in Alkmaar, with Mark Cavendish competing in the men's road race on Sunday.

Varney said that Holden was "reaping the benefits of a fully dedicated winter" and added that she could "go to the very top" of the sport.

The Manx rider was the best of the British in the 22km time trial, with her time of 30 minutes 9.95 seconds enough to put her in sixth place, 49 seconds behind the winner, Hannah Ludwig of Germany.

On Friday afternoon, she and teammate Pfeiffer Georgi sought to prevent the expected sprint finish.

Holden broke clear with former junior time trial world champion Karlijn Swinkels, with three of the eight laps remaining.

Swinkels was caught soon after but Holden held on alone until the penultimate lap, when she was caught by a chasing group that contained Georgi.

However, they were unable to hold off the combined power of the French and Italian teams and Letizia Paternoster of Italy took the sprint victory.

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