Grit and determination led to OVO Energy Women’s Tour win, says Lizzie Deignan

OTLEY’S Lizzie Deignan clinched victory in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour with the smallest winning margin in the history of the race.

Yorkshires Lizzie Deignan holds the trophy after winning the Womens Tour of Britain (Picture: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com).

The 30-year-old took the win after beating Poland’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma by just two seconds.

Deignan, who finished eighth on the concluding stage from Carmarthen to Pembrey Country Park, headed into Saturday in possession of the green jersey, fresh from her first win since returning from maternity leave.

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She now has her first title since giving birth to daughter Orla nine months ago and also becomes the first cyclist to win the event twice, adding to her 2016 triumph.

“It means a huge amount,” said Deignan, who only returned from maternity leave in April.

“I think the last time I came here I was probably one of the favourites to win the race and this time I wasn’t a favourite, so it was a different experience.

“It was just grit and determination. I’m away from my daughter for a reason, I’m here to do a job. I’ve got a fantastic team around me that I didn’t want to let down.”

Following a sprint finish, Holland’s Amy Pieters won the final stage ahead of Leah Kirchmann and Roxane Fournier.

Team Ineos principal Dave Brailsford is convinced Chris Froome will fight to return to top-level cycling after his life-threatening crash.

Froome suffered extensive injuries when his bike hit a wall at almost 35mph last Wednesday during his fourth-stage reconnaissance of the Criterium du Dauphine. The four-time Tour de France winner is recovering at the University Hospital of St Etienne where he underwent a six-hour operation. But Brailsford does not think the 34-year-old will retire from the sport.

“It’s quite difficult to see that if I’m being honest with you,” Brailsford told BBC 5 Live’s Sportsweek.

“I think he will try and get back. Who knows how this will impact on him, but I don’t think it will be the case where he’ll just say, ‘right, I’m satisfied now I’ll hang up my wheels and call it a day’.

“I think he’s more likely to really work hard in rehab and push himself really hard. He’ll take the same approach to that I’m sure as he does to his sport.

“If I was a betting man I’d say yes we’ll seem him back at some point in the future.”

Froome fractured his right femur and suffered a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs, while it has also been reported he fractured his neck.