After some strong and aggressive racing both by Lizzie Deignan, and the rest of the Team, the Brit rounded out the overall podium on The Mall.
The iconic city center circuit that started and finished in front of Buckingham Palace lived up to expectations. It was fast. It was furious.
Trek-Segafredo did everything they could in the second half of the 8-lap race to try to stretch out the bunch and put the day’s favorite, and eventual winner, Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) under pressure.
It was pure bunch sprint for the line which Deignan, who won her Olympic silver medal on The Mall, explained in post-race interviews, wasn’t particularly suited to her rider characteristics and saw her finish outside the top ten.
Bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint as well as those on offer for her second place on the stage saw Chloe Dygart (Canyon // SRAM Racing) leapfrog Deignan in the overall standings, pushing her into third on the General Classification.
I was pretty nervous. It was hectic. It was stressful and I am just happy I stayed upright. That’s a win for me today. The tactic was to try to do something after the second sprint but the course just not quite dynamic enough. There was a lot of corners and it was but it was still not quite a criterium so it was difficult to distance people. We tried to give it a go, it didn’t work and then it was about trying to set me up as best we could for the sprint but I was bumped around quite a bit. For me to try to and pull a win off from a bunch sprint like this would be incredibly hard.
It is a bit of a surprise to have finished third here overall. My son is only eight months old and it’s been a whirlwind up to this point. I’ve done more races that I expected to at this point in my “comeback” so to speak and I don’t really know what I was expecting. I was kind of open minded. I am not at the top of my game yet. I am not exactly where I need to be yet. It’s great to be back at the sharp end of races though and I am happy with my progress. On paper, this race doesn’t suit me but I was able to make an impact and we made the best out of a bad situation losing our sprinter, the Team really deserved the credit for that as it was a real group effort.
It was phenomenal out on the course. The crowds were incredible. It gave me goosebumps. The speed was intense but so was the noise of the crowd and you could really feel the atmosphere.