Armitstead powered over the line in Chesterfield ahead of Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High 5) to win the 109km stage 3. The Brit now sits in the overall race lead over the duo by seconds.
“If I could have designed a stage, this would have been it,” said Armitstead. “I love this kind of terrain. It’s similar to where I grew up in Yorkshire, and it suits me.
"I’m grateful they’re bringing the race further up north, closer to home, and that it’s not just sprints every day. I think it showcases what women’s cycling is about and what kind of racing we can do.
— thewomenstour (@thewomenstour) June 17, 2016
The trio pursued the day's breakaway making the catch after the Bank Road climb at around 38km to go.
The original breakaway pulled clear after 47kms raced and included the likes of Hannah Barnes (Canyon/SRAM), Australian national champion Amanda Spratt, and Armitstead's team-mate Chantal Blaak.
“It went exactly as we discussed,” said Armitstead. “The idea was to put someone into the early breakaway and that I would jump across on the climb. We did exactly that.”
Overnight race leader Marianne Vos missed the move but chased hard with her Rabo Liv team. But it was to no avail as Armitstead kicked again with around 15km to the finish line with only Spratt, Moolman-Pasio and Longo Borghini able to follow.
Just two stages remain of the Aviva Women's Tour.