In a season that has been anything but normal, with a calendar that has continually shifted, the fact is that racing is back, and this year's La Course by Le Tour de France did not disappoint.
Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) wins with variety, and the former road world champion's versatility is arguably her best weapon. Despite a rough start to the season, with exactly half her races ending in crashes, the Brit was confident in the team’s plan of staying with any late attacks.
Also at the start was two-time La Course champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Michelton-Scott), who to that point was virtually undefeated in 2020. Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), hungry to restart her season, wanted to add a third La Course win to her palmares.
Photo by Getty Sport
Despite hard uphill attacks by van Vleuten, Deignan hung in and came into the finale in a lead group which included her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini. When Vos surged ahead in the final meters Deignan was positioned on the front, but few would have bet against the three-time road race world champion. In what was arguably the most exciting sprint of the season Deignan was able to grab Vos’ wheel in the final meters and lunge at the line for a dramatic win by inches.
Deignan credited her team, stating, “the victory was a testament to our teamwork.” While the winner is still hopeful for a three-week women’s tour, she and her teammates were grateful for the opportunity to race given the pandemic.