La Course result: Lizzie Deignan celebrates ‘phenomenal’ victory after winning sprint finish

British rider pipped rival Marianne Vos on the line in the annual curtain-raiser for the Tour de France

Martyn Herman
Saturday 29 August 2020 12:48 BST
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Britain's Lizzie Deignan edged a thrilling sprint finish along the Nice seafront to beat great rival Marianne Vos and win La Course by Le Tour de France on Saturday.

The hilly 96-km route around the Mediterranean city boiled down to a battle between a leading group of six, also featuring Dutch world champion Annemiek van Vleuten, Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Demi Vollering and Deignan's Trek Segafredo teammate Elisa Longo Borghini.

As the sprint wound up in the final kilometre along Promenade des Anglais it looked as though Vos, who out-sprinted Deignan for gold at the London Olympics in 2012, had nailed a second successive victory as she opened up a sizeable gap.

But Dutch great Vos (CCC-Liv) had been forced to make her move too early. On the long final drag Monaco-based Deignan dug deep and she surged past on the line. Vollering was third.

"It was just a relief that I won it," Deignan said. "What a performance from Trek-Segafredo today, every single rider played their part, then me and Elisa only had to wait for the finale and she did the perfect job: she forced Marianne to sprint early and I took advantage of that.

"It's phenomenal to win La Course. Sometimes when you're training hard and things aren't going your way, it's really frustrating but finally it feels the luck is on our side."

The victory completed a good month for former world champion Deignan who also won GP Plouay for the third time.

La Course by Le Tour, featuring the cream of women's professional cycling, is the curtain-raiser for the Tour de France which starts later on Saturday in Nice.

Deignan labelled the winning feeling 'phenomenal' with he first La Course victory

The women are still without a multi-stage Tour de France of their own, although support is growing to start one possibly as early as 2022.

Leading positions (Nice-Nice, 96km):

1 Elizabeth Deignan (Gbr) Trek-Segafredo 2hrs 22mins 51secs

2 Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv

3 Demi Vollerging (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg

4 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-Sram Racing

5 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott at same time

6 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 7secs

7 Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope at 1min 50secs

8 Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service

9 Soraya Paladin (Ita) CCC-Liv

10 Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb

11 Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies

12 Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka

13 Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana

14 Katia Ragusa (Ita) Astana Women's Team

15 Hannah Barnes (Gbr) Canyon // Sram Racing

16 Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women

17 Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC - Liv

18 Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank

19 Hanna Nilsson (Swe) Parkhotel Valkenburg

20 Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) Ceratizit - WNT Pro Cycling Team

Selected Others: 29 Elizabeth Banks (Gbr) Equipe Paule Ka at 1mins 55secs, 35 Danielle Christmas (Gbr) Lotto Soudal Ladies at same time, 55 Leah Dixon (Gbr) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank at 9mins 15secs, 59 Anna Henderson (Gbr) Team Sunweb at 10mins 17sec.

Reuters

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