Lizzie Deignan solos to ‘special and surreal’ Women’s Tour de Yorkshire win

Brit bags first individual win since anti-doping whereabouts controversy

Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) says bagging her first victory of the season in her home county of Yorkshire was ‘special and surreal’.

The victory was Deignan’s first individual victory since the controversy over her three anti-doping whereabouts failures which – had the first one not been struck from the record by CAS – could have led to her being suspended last year.

But after three second-place finishes in the Ardennes Classics, all behind team-mate Anna van der Breggen – Deignan carried her form into the Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race and soloed to victory in Harrogate.

Lizzie Deignan soloed to victory at the Tour de Yorkshire – her first win of 2017 (pic – Allan

“It was really special for me to finish here and feel so much support,” she said. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a victory. It’s been a tough year. To crown it like this, to move on and to move on with local support was very special.”

After team-mate Amy Pieters – who had helped to animate the early part of the race – got into the day’s break, Deignan and Van der Breggen bridged across on the Cote de Lofthouse climb.

The three Boels-Dolmans riders were still present at the front after the 1.7km climb, in what was now a leading group of eight, but another Deignan acceleration on the undulating Yorkshire roads split the group again.

Deignan, Van der Breggen and Cylance’s Dani King were the only three left up the road, with the Dutchwoman doing the majority of the pace-setting and the two Brits playing their part in eking out a two-minute advantage.

Deignan repeatedly upped the pace, but King responded each time – even after one had seen Van der Breggen briefly lose contact.

But King had no answer when Deignan accelerated again with 14km to go, and the Yorkshirewoman never looked back.

Her advantage was 55 seconds at the finish, with Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-High5) rounding off the podium, after their counter-attack had swept up King and Van der Breggen.

Deignan admitted it was ‘special and surreal’ to return to winning ways on home roads after a turbulent year (pic – Alex

British champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) finished fifth and King claimed tenth place.

Deignan added: “I didn’t dare believe it until that ‘1km to go’ banner. It was a bit of a climb up to that, and I thought I’m just getting slower and slower and they’re getting faster and faster.

“It’s special and surreal. I still can’t get my head around how many people came out to support us.”

Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race 2017: result

1) Lizzie Deignan (GBR) – Boels-Dolmans – 3.09.36hrs
2) Coryn Rivera (USA) – Team Sunweb +55”
3) Giorgia Bronzini (ITA) – Wiggle-High5 – ST
4) Amy Pieters (NED) – Boels-Dolmans
5) Hannah Barnes (GBR) – Canyon-SRAM
6) Katrine Aalerud (NOR) – Hitec Products +59”
7) Sheyla Gutierrez (ESP) – Cylance Pro Cycling – ST
8) Shara Gillow (AUS) – FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
9) Roxane Knetemann (NED) – FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
10) Dani King (GBR) – Cylance Pro Cycling

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