Women’s Tour: Britain’s Lizzie Deignan seals overall victory

Cycling


Lizzie Deignan says winning the Women’s Tour was beyond her wildest expectations

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan has been crowned 2019 Women’s Tour champion to become the first cyclist to win the event twice.

Deignan, 30, finished safely in the pack as the Netherlands’ Amy Pieters won the sixth and final stage from Carmarthen to Pembrey Country Park.

She won the event by just two seconds from Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma.

It is Deignan’s first title since giving birth to her daughter, Orla, nine months ago.

“I’ve won some big races in my career but this is extra special because I took a risk in terms of leaving professional sport to have my daughter,” Deignan told BBC Sport Wales.

“It’s been a whirlwind time since we had her, it’s been very special obviously, but it means it is possible to do both and I’m just so happy that I made that decision.”

She added: “I never expected coming into this race that I would win it overall, so I’m really happy.

“It was completely beyond my expectations, I really thought that I would struggle, it’s my first stage race in a very long time. I guess my old lady strength came in at the end.”

The Trek-Segafredo rider, who last won the Women’s Tour in 2016, only returned from maternity leave in April and her winning margin ahead of 2017 champion Niewiadoma is the smallest in the event’s history.

Deignan – the 2015 road race world champion – out-sprinted stage four winner Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini to win stage five on Friday to lead the general classification by just one second going into the final day.

But her eighth-place finish on Saturday, along with a bonus second in an intermediate sprint, saw her extend that lead by a further second.

Team Sunweb’s Leah Kirchmann finished second behind Boels-Dolmans’ stage winner Pieters, with Movistar rider Roxane Fournier third.

Deignan is the first two-time winner of the Women’s Tour

Stage six result

1. Amy Pieters (Ned/Boels-Dolmans) 3 hours 27 minutes 02 seconds

2. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Team Sunweb) same time

3. Roxane Fournier (Fra/Movistar)

4. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Vollering)

5. Christine Majerus (Lux/Boels-Dolmans)

6. Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa/Movistar)

7. Lisa Brennauer (Ger/Wnt-Rotor Pro)

8. Lizzie Deignan (GB/Trek-Segafredo)

9. Marta Cavalli (Ita/Valcar Cylance)

10. Alexandra Manly (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott)

Final general classification

1. Lizzie Deignan (GB/Trek-Segafredo) 21 hours 9 minutes 25 seconds

2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SMAR Racing) +2secs

3. Amy Pieters (Ned/Boels-Dolmans) +23secs

4. Christine Majerus (Lux/Boels-Dolmans) +49secs

5. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Vollering) +51secs

6. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Team Sunweb) +54secs

7. Lizzy Banks (GB/Bigla) +58secs

8. Leah Thomas (US/Bigla) same time

9. Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol/Movistar) +59secs

10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +1min 1sec



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