The third edition of the Women's Tour de Yorkshire saw the streets of Yorkshire lined with hundreds of thousands of fans. With a former world champion Lizzie Deignan and the Olympic road race champion, Anna van der Breggan on the start line of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire, and the parcours being the toughest yet in comparison to the previous two editions. Saturday’s 122.5km race from Tadcaster to Harrogate was set to be blown to pieces before the main climb, the only categorised climb of the day Cote de Lofthouse a 1.7km climb with an average gradient of 11.4%, 60km into the race.
Team WNT Pro Cycling took the race by the scruff of the neck in the first 40km, following the fierce attacks made by Boels Dolmans to whittle down the peloton. With presence at the head of the peloton, Eileen Roe, Hannah Walker, and Irish Champion, Lydia Boylan were at the ready to make the days break away. When a break eventually stuck, it was Roe who was there representing Team WNT Pro Cycling, but was unfortunately brought back some kilometres later.
The attacks came thick and fast on the savage 1.7km queen of the mountain, by the top Gaby Shaw and Eileen Roe found themselves in a group of 27 riders just off the back of the leading 17. With the race not coming back together in the final 50km, it left Eileen and Gaby racing for 18th place. With a leg stinging run in to the finish, Roe placed 25th with local rider Shaw placing 28th.
‘I’m really happy with how today’s race went for us’ says Walker
‘Eileen and I were active in the early parts of the race and to be mixing it with some of the best riders in the world, I’m really pleased with my performance and proud of the way the team and I rode’.
A 10-minute drive away from where Gaby Shaw lives was the finish in Harrogate ‘It was one of the most surreal races I’ve ever competed in’
‘To be able to race on the roads I call my home training roads was something I was thrilled with. When you hear your name being shouted numerous times along the route, it gave me goose bumps and it’s a memory I will never forget.’