Elizabeth Banks fights hard in the breakaway and takes the QOM jersey on the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire
Today the Bigla riders took to the start of the fourth edition of the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire. The first stage of the two day tour went from Barnsley to Bedale over 132km and presented only one climb (1500m, 7.4%) at the end of the first half of the race. Other than that, the course was relatively flat. The first attacks were contained by an attentive field, but Elizabeth Banks was able to escape and carve out an advantage of 2 minutes over the field. She was joined later on by a group of other riders, and together the escapees rode towards the finish town. Lizzy also crested the Queen of the Mountains climb first and on tomorrow’s second stage, she’ll don the red Queen of the Mountains jersey. In the last few kilometres, Lizzy’s group was eventually reeled back in by the peloton, and it came down to a sprint in Bedale, which was taken out by Lorena Wiebes.
After the race, Team Manager Thomas Campana said about Lizzy’s efforts today: “We started the race with only five riders, because Maria is still out with injuries. The QOM jersey was a goal for us today, and Lizzy was able to achieve this plan. She showed fighting spirit the whole day and the breakaway group was caught only 3km ahead of the finish line. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s stage, which I think will yet again be an interesting race.”
At the end of a hard day in the saddle, Lizzie was very satisfied with her performance: “I really wanted to get into the breakaway, especially because the Tour de Yorkshire is like a home race for me. When I found out that I had a gap of one minute, I became extra motivated, because I knew that I had a good chance to take the QOM jersey. It is an unbelievable feeling, to stand on the podium here. This jersey is my first at such a renowned race, and I’m thankful to my team for giving me this opportunity today.”