Lizzie Armitstead maintained her unbeaten record since becoming world road race champion as she won the opening race of the new women's UCI World Tour.

Having triumphed at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad a week ago, Armitstead was again unstoppable to make it two wins from two as she clinched the Italian one-day classic Strade Bianche race in Tuscany.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the road race was part of a three-rider escape and accelerated away up the Piazza del Campo climb in Siena to take victory for the Boels-Dolmans team.

The World Tour consists of 18 races throughout the year – a mixture of one-day and stage events – and replaces the World Cup which was ten one-day races.

New world champions have historically been weighed down by donning the rainbow jersey but Armitstead has thrived in her new role, although she is adamant that her results are even surprising her.

"It wasn't really the plan, my legs are better than I expected," explained Armitstead. "Training has been going good but not really this good.

"I'm excited that my legs are already like this because I think there's still room to improve.

"I'm really proud of the team. We're one of the strongest teams, and I think we showed that today, and we showed it on the best stage.

"The Women's World Tour is hopefully going to be a better stage for women's cycling, and we showed again that we can perform on the biggest stages."

Sportsbeat 2016