Deignan leads mountains jersey and sits 2nd overall in the 2-day Women’s Tour de Suisse
The Women’s Tour de Suisse is back after a 20-year hiatus, and Trek-Segafredo came into the race ready to fight for victory. That was looking likely for Lizzie Deignan as she came into the final kilometre as the better sprinter and one rider to beat, but an error left her with the runner-up prize.
“I felt good, I felt strong, I just messed it up in the finish,” admitted Deignan.
Just over the halfway point of the wet, hilly 114-kilometre race five women formed a leading group, which included Deignan and Trek family member Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing XC).
Deignan’s strength was apparent from the leaders as she pushed the pace up the climb each lap and sprinted for the points, and winning the mountains classification.
Only Deignan could follow Elise Chabbey’s (Canyon SRAM) attack with 15 kilometres to go, and the pair worked together to quickly established a 30-second gap.
Deignan’s sprinting ability had her pegged for the win. However, Chabbey played a calm, cool game in the 2-up sprint while Deignan jumped early. The Swiss Champion held Deignan’s wheel and came over Deignan in the final 50 meters to take an unexpected victory.
“We were in the perfect situation, but unfortunately, I totally messed up the sprint, so it’s on me, really,” explained Deignan, pulling no punches. “Luckily, there’s only four seconds difference, so tomorrow we can make it up with bonus seconds. It will be an exciting race for sure!”
Lucinda Brand won the sprint from the chasing group that never threatened the leaders, taking 6th place on the stage over four minutes later.
Chabbey takes a four-second advantage into the second and last day, a 98-kilometre flat and technical 10-lap race. It’s not a considerable margin to defend from Trek-Segafredo, a team that always welcomes an aggressive, fast race. Whatever happens, it will undoubtedly be a thrilling one to watch.