OVO Women’s Tour: Deignan wraps up overall, Pieters wins stage from sprint
Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) did enough to protect her one-second overnight lead on GC to win the overall at OVO Energy Women’s Tour, Saturday. The stage was won from a sprint by Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) with Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) second and Roxane Fournier (Movistar) third.
“I won through grit and determination,” Deignan said. “I’m away from my daughter for a reason, I’m here to do a job. I have a fantastic team around me that I don’t want to let down. You’ve always got to dig in.”
The final stage of the race was 125 kilometers and peppered with climbs, though finished with a long flat run in to Pembrey Country Park.
The GC was in the balance at the start of the day, with Deignan only one second ahead of Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
A break of over 10 riders formed early in the race, but was whittled down to seven after the category 1 climb of the Black Mountain, with Deignan and Niewiadoma in the bunch, 1:30 back. However, with the sprint teams eyeing stage victory, the race came back together with 50km remaining.
With every second making the difference on the overall classification, Trek-Segafredo and Canyon-SRAM were active in looking to set up their leaders for intermediate sprint points, and crucially, Deignan took third place in the second sprint, adding one second to her GC lead.
After a flurry of attacks from the bunch, Nadia Quagliotto (Ale Cipollini) went clear with 14km to go, soon gaining 30 seconds. Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) bridged to her inside the final 5km, however, the pair were reeled in by the bunch with 2km remaining.
Boels-Dolmans led out the sprint, delivering Pieters to victory over Kirchmann and Fournier. The win marked the third stage victory for Boels-Dolmans in the race, despite losing leader Marianne Vos on stage 3.
Despite several efforts by Niewiadoma to go clear in the final kilometers, she finished on the same time as Deignan. With that, the Brit secured overall victory by two seconds, her second overall win at the race, having also won in 2016. Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) took third overall.