Lizzie Deignan solo’s fifteen kilometres to her first victory in the Asda Women’s Tour De Yorkshire.
This third incarnation of the Women’s Tour De Yorkshire beamed live on television attracted eighteen teams including several UCI Women’s World Tour teams to Yorkshire raising the profile pre-Worlds 2019 for the organisers Welcome to Yorkshire. Following the same route as the men’s race later in the day included a single classified ascend of the Cote de Lofthouse at 423m, a 1.7km long 11% climb. The race covered 122.5kms through grippy rolling countryside.
All-though the climb would prove difficult for some of the riders, a bunch sprint was expected back in Harrogate some three hours later after been flagged off from Tadcaster at 9.10am by Tilly Mae with eighteen teams taking the start and 105 riders signing on.
Boels Dolmans former World Champion and local girl Deignan had the help of her Olympic and European Road Race Champion and team-mate Anna Van Der Breggan bridging the gap to the lead group on the main climb before working her way through to the front on the decent into Harrogate.
Earlier on the race Boels Dolmans Chantal Blaak and Amy Pieters softened up the peloton as the race got underway before they all came back together for the first sprint on theday in Knaresbrough. Bepink Cogeas’s Maria Vittaria Sperotto crossed the line firstly followed by Ale Cippolini’s Soraya Paladin with Bepink Cogeas’s Alison Jackson third.
It was Pieters that broken free once more, this time will attracting nine more quality riders Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz and Dani King [Cylance Pro Cycling], Claudia Lichtenberg [Wiggle High5], Juliette Labous & Rozanne Slik [Team Sunweb], Canyon SRAM Racings Barbara Guarischi, Ale Cipollini’s Anna Trevisi, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope’s Roxanne Knetemann and Lare-Waowdeals Women’s Cycling Team’s Saartje Vandenbroucke who rode to the foot of the main climb together with around a minute-twenty advantage to the peloton and two chasers in-between.
Van Der Breggen rode to the front of the peloton mid-way up the climb setting a blistering pace with Deignan on her wheels. Rivera followed close behind as they rode away from everyone else. Picking the leading riders off one-by-one it was clear Deignan had the bit between her teeth for the win after failing last year been caught in the final kilometres.
Lichtenberg took the KOM points followed by Peiters then King. The chasing duo were only fifteen seconds adrift through the KOM, but the road undulated higher along a false flat and soon went by the leaders with King, the only one to react and sit on the back of the pair.
With a lead of just over thirty seconds and Bronzini and Rivera chasing hard, Deignan set about her fourteen-point-five kilometer time trial to the finish. Her lead extended to over a minute with King chasing between Deignan and the first group. King re-joined the chasing group as another group joined the chase, but although Deignan’s DS had radioed her to save her legs for a bunch sprint, she knew she had the legs to finish the race alone on roads that she had looked at earlier in the year.
Rivera won the bunch sprint at fifty-five seconds with Bronzini, Pieters and Hannah Barnes [Canyon SRAM Racing] finishing fifth overall.
Press Quote from Lizzie
“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 through 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.”
1 11 DEIGNAN Elizabeth 3.09.36″ DLT GBR
2 31 RIVERA Coryn 55″ SUN USA
3 21 BRONZINI Giorgia ‘ ‘ WHT ITA
4 14 PIETERS Amy ‘ ‘ DLT NED
5 41 BARNES Hannah ‘ ‘ LPR GBR
6 82 AALERUD Katrine 59″ HPU NOR
7 3 GUTIERREZ RUIZ Sheyla ‘ ‘ CPC ESP
8 71 GILLOW Shara ‘ ‘ FDJ AUS
9 75 KNETEMANN Roxanne ‘ ‘ FDJ NED
10 4 KING Danielle ‘ ‘ CPC GBR
11 106 VANDENBROUCKE Saartje ‘ ‘ LWD BEL
12 62 CHRISTIAN Anna 01’07” DRP GBR
13 26 LICHTENBERG Claudia 01’23” WHT GER
14 32 LABOUS Juliette 01’33” SUN FRA
15 22 CORDON RAGOT Audrey 01’56” WHT FRA
16 36 VAN DIJK Elen ‘ ‘ SUN NED
17 15 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna 01’59” DLT NED
18 34 SLIK Rozanne 07’45” SUN NED
19 61 BARNES Alice ‘ ‘ DRP GBR
20 92 JACKSON Alison ‘ ‘
Roll of Honor
Winner ASDA 11 DEIGNAN Elizabeth BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM GBR
Point Classification AUNT BESSIE’S 11 DEIGNAN Elizabeth BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM GBR
Best Team DONCASTER SHEFFIELD AIRPORT – FLYBE BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM DLT
Best Climber VIRGINS TRAINS 26 LICHTENBERG Claudia WIGGLE HIGH5
Fifty-seven riders finished the third edition of the Women’s Tour De Yorkshire with-in the time window allowed. A further thirty-seven riders rode in with-in forty-one minutes behind and Jo Tindley [Team Ford Ecoboost] finishing in last place, well done Jo.