Lizzie Deignan 3rd in a thrilling finish at Ovo Energy Tour

Deignan inches closer to the overall lead with two stages remaining.

In a thrilling uphill finish to stage four at the Ovo Energy Women’s Tour, Lizzie Deignan finished in third place to maintain her position in the general classification and edged closer to the lead, now sitting three seconds in arrears in third.

The top of the leaderboard changed with Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM) claiming the stage victory and moving into second overall, and Liane Lippert (Sunweb) finishing second and taking over the leader’s jersey.

The bigger hills arrived for stage four, and the local laps included a tough uphill finish. The day kicked off with a three-rider breakaway carving out a substantial lead of eight minutes, but the chase by the bunch brought them to a manageable distance on the circuit.

Elisa Longo Borghini then attacked on the penultimate ascent of the climb, which was marked by Lippert and Niewiadoma, and together they quickly caught and disposed of the breakaway.

Elisa Longo-Borghini attacks.

With Longo Borghini represented in the lead group, it was a good move for the team. However, the peloton gave a heated chase and caught back the dangerous trio on the final lap, resulting in a reduced bunch of 25 riders heading into the base of the final climb together.

“Elisa followed Kasia the first time up the steep climb, and when she attacked she showed she was the strongest” said Deignan. “We didn’t know coming into the final whether it would be more of a sprint, so Ellen (van Dijk) and Elisa led me out. It probably wasn’t the best tactic; in hindsight, we should have launched Elisa in another attack instead, but it was difficult to communicate today because it was complicated and to try and talk in the radios was not easy. It’s also very hard to look at a stage on paper and make a plan, especially when your sensations in a race like today change so much.”

Elisa Longo Borghini and Kasia Niewiadoma in the lead group on the final lap at Stage 4 of 2019 OVO Women's Tour.

Trek-Segafredo gambled on a tight finish between the top riders and van Dijk and Longo-Borghini set a hard pace into the climb for Deignan. However, Niewiadoma was not waiting for the last meters and attacked with Lippert at the bottom. The two riders opened a gap and held it to the line with Deignan arriving seven seconds later for third.

Third place for Lizzie Deignan.

I think as a team we rode really well; we didn’t get the win, but we are in a good position. Anna (Plichta) and Abi (Van Twisk) were phenomenal all day, they kept the breakaway at a reasonable time. I held the 3rd GC so a good day overall. It’s going to be two tough days to go.

- Deignan

Ellen van Dijk on the final few hundred meters of stage 4.

Abigail Van Twisk and Anna Plichta put in big efforts in the chase earlier in the race.

Director Ina Teutenberg agreed:

“I think everyone rode well, it was a bummer that Elisa’s attack didn’t go. A little bit was missing at the end for Lizzie, but the others were a little bit stronger on the climb. We are still there for the GC hunt, so there’s still everything to play for. It’s not over!”


Click here to view the gallery from stages 1-3.