LUCY Martin played a key supporting role as Lizzie Armitstead powered to Great Britain’s first medal of the London Olympics with a silver in the women's road race.

The 22-year-old Widnes race ace was riding a domestique and certainly played her role to perfection as Armitstead, also a teammate at Dutch trade team AA Drink.leontien, defied the appalling conditions to claim second behind five-time world silver medallist and favourite Marianne Vos.

“I’m just so happy I was able to play a small part in what Lizzie achieved, it’s just unbelievable,” said Martin, who was among the first to congratulate Armitstead at the conclusion of the 140km race.

“We all knew that she had great form coming into the race but it's the Olympics, so it wasn't going to be easy.

“It was a tough race to call but I think we got our tactics pretty spot on and Lizzie did an amazing job in the end.”

Martin also admitted she was amazed by the support on the road, with hundreds of thousands estimated lining the route despite the weather.

“It was incredible, almost a wall of sound the entire way around the course,” she added.

“You focus on the race but when you hear the cheers or people shouting your name it really gives you a lift. It felt so special so to win a medal at the end is just perfect.”

British cycling chief Dave Brailsford paid tribute to Martin's performance in her first Games appearance.

“Absolute credit to the team for how they raced because they made it happen,” he said.

“The girls did it in the rain as well which is incredible. Those conditions would be tough for anyone.”

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