Lizzie Deignan (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) soloed to victory today at the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire in Harrogate, finishing nearly a minute clear of her nearest challenger.
Deignan – who hails from Otley in Yorkshire – made her move by attacking with her Boels Dolmans team-mate Anna van der Breggen on the brutish Côte de Lofthouse climb and then left her rivals in the dust as she pressed on to the finish.
The 28 year old had a 55-second advantage as she raced up Parliament Street and had time to soak up the deafening support before she crossed the line with her arms aloft. American Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) took second place by outsprinting Italy’s former world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5).
After the stage a delighted Deignan said: “The race really suited me and I knew the roads better than anyone else, so I took advantage of that.
“With 15km to go my Sports Director was telling me to save myself for the sprint but I knew we still had some small climbs to go. I knew it wasn’t going to come back together so I went on the attack. I didn’t dare believe I’d actually won the race until about 1km to go though because I felt like I was getting slower and slower.
“The finish was so special and so surreal, and it meant so much to me to receive such great support. It was incredible and I’m struggling to get my head around it. This is up there with the biggest wins of my career, definitely. There were a lot of big teams here and the Tour is growing into a really prestigious race.
“We don’t get crowds like this in women’s cycling very often and it was unbelievable to see so many people on the roadside. The fact that the whole race was televised live as well was really important. You’ll only see stronger and stronger women coming to this race in the future because of that, and the best riders specifically targeting this race.”
Deignan’s triumph meant she was awarded the blue winner’s jersey sponsored by Asda on the podium and also topped the best sprinter’s classification sponsored by Aunt Bessie’s. Wiggle High5 rider Claudia Lichtenberg was awarded Queen of the Mountain sponsored by Virgin Trains after cresting the Côte de Lofthouse in first place, while Deignan’s Boels Dolmans claimed the team classification prize sponsored by FlyBe and Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
1 Elizabeth Deignan (GBR) Boels Dolmans 3:09:36
2 Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb +0:00:55
3 Giorgia Bronzini (ITA) Wiggle-High5 +0:00:55
4 Amy Pieters (NED) Boels Dolmans +0:00:55
5 Hannah Barnes (GBR) Canyon-SRAM +0:00:55