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Lizzie Deignan wins the women's 2017 Tour de Yorkshire after blistering attack

Jack Elton-Walters
29 Apr 2017

Fellow Brit Dani King couldn't chase the move as Lizzie Deignan went away to a solo win

Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) took the victory on home roads at the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire after attacking with 13km left to race. She'd been part of a lead group with teammate Anna van der Breggen and Dani King (Cyclance) but left them both behind and went away to the win in Harrogate.

King didn't give up when she was dropped and pushed hard to stay away from the strong chasing group and but could not hold on for what would have been a well deserved second place.

As King was caught and passed with 8km to race, Deignan still had an advantage of 53 seconds.

That lead went out to 1m10s and shots of the second group showed that the enthusiasm to bring the lone leader back had evaporated.

After a lull in proceedings once everyone was resigned to the former World Champion's win, riders began to attack again as they fought for second and third places.

No one could go clear and little dent was made into the gap, which shows the power Deignan was putting out up the front on her own.

Coryn Rivera (Sunweb), one of the pre-race favourites, was able to chase back on after being dropped on the only categorised climb of the day and then outsprinted her fellow chasers to take second place on the day.

The women's Tour de Yorkshire: How it happened

The women’s 2017 Tour de Yorkshire race was attacking and entertaining from the off, and resistance to extending the event to a full three stages next year will surely have been called further into question.

Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) was particularly active with repeated attacks off the front of the peloton.

This was clearly as part of a tactical approach for her team leaders Deignan and van der Breggen.

Eventually, one of Pieters’s attacks worked when she took nine other riders away with her with 75km to go, as the pace increased towards the foot of the day’s only categorised climb.

The other riders to go with her were Dani King and Sheyla Gutierrez (Cyclance), Roxanne Knetemann (FDJ), Claudia Lichtenberg (Wiggle-High5), Barbara Guarischi (Canyon-SRAM), Anna Trevisi (Ale Cipollini), Vandenbroucke, Katia Ragusa (BePink) and Juliette Labous (Sunweb).

That group got their advantage out to over 1m30s but the Boels-Dolmans led peloton brought the gap down towards a minute as the leaders hit the climb of the Cote de Lofthouse.

There had been two chasing riders trying to reach the break but they were caught and passed on the lower slopes of the brutal climb.

Deignan followed as van der Breggen put the hammer down and only Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) could follow the move, but she was distanced before the summit.

The crowds were out in force on the climb and King proved especially popular with he local fans.

The Boels-Dolmans pair were just 15 seconds down on the leaders as they crested the summit, having climbed with relative ease compared to their rivals.

They joined what was left of the breakaway with 61.4km to go. Behind, British National Champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) was within a chase group alongside Rivera, around 33 seconds back.

Once clear of the climb, Deignan and van der Breggn pushed on and shipped everyone other rider with 53km to the finish, except King who sat on the back on the two-up team time trial.

By this stage there were groups all over the road with gaps of varying sizes between each. The second group was at 59 seconds with 48km to go, so the podium wasn’t yet assured for the three leaders.

Approaching the 40km to go marker, the Boels pair started to attack King but she was alive to the danger and stayed in touch.

An enlarged chase group formed but was already over 1m40s behind the lead trio.

That bunch of chasers began to work hard and the gap was worked down to just over a minute. Meanwhile, upfront, Deignan put in little digs to test King’s resolve.

British riders Anna Christian (Drops) and Barnes were part of the chase and with 30km left to race it looked likely that the three leaders could be caught.

The advantage finally dropped below a minute with 25km to go but the leaders showed little sign of easing up as they pushed on for the finish line in Harrogate.

The rolling terrain and narrow lanes played to the advantage of the leaders rather than the chasers and riders were shelled out the back of the second group on the road.

King took up the pace and contributed to maintaining the gap; a gap that would soon feel safe enough for tactical games to commence in the trio.

A push on a small rise from Deignan could not shake King but did temporarily mark the end of van der Breggen’s stint in the lead group.

King would not take up the pace so Deignan sat on and waited for her teammate to get back in touch.

The same rise saw some of the chasing pack struggle too, but it just about stayed together over the top.

King started to work on the front to ensure maximum effort from the European champion as she chased back on.

Deignan finally made the killer move with around 13km left to the finish line as van der Breggen went backwards and King couldn’t go with the move.

Women's Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Results

1. Lizzie Deignan (GBr) Boels-Dolmans, in 03:09:36
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb, at 55s
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, st
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, st
5. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM, st
6. Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Hitec Producs, at 59s
7. Sheyla Gutierrez (Esp) Cyclance, st 
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ, st
9. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ, st
10 Dani King (GBr) Cyclance, st

Lead image: P. Ballet