Megan Guarnier has won the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire on Friday, crossing the line first that was drawn atop the Côte de Cow and Calf. It also meant the overall victory in the two-day Yorkshire event.
With the win, the former American champion and 2016 Women’s WorldTour winner follows in the footsteps of teammate and Yorkshire-born Lizzie Deignan, who won the race in 2017. Guarnier also delivered herself a perfect birthday gift, celebrating her 33rd birthday today.
“This is my first win of the year and my first win since my jaw injury,” Guarnier said beaming with happiness. “It feels great to finally be back on the top step, but most importantly, I couldn’t have done it without the team behind me.”
“They were amazing the past two days and really had confidence in me, which gave me motivation to finish it for them after all their hard work.”
Stage two in the Tour de Yorkshire was nothing like the mostly flat stage one yesterday, in which Amalie Dideriksen finished second. While the team could depend on other sprint teams too to control the race in stage one, today was about staying focused the entire day.
“Racing in this region can be quite hectic, always up and down, small roads, the race can really change in an instant, so it was important to stay attentive all day,” Guarnier said. “The team did wonderfully in keeping me safe, protected, calm and in good position the past two days.”
There were plenty of attacks on the undulating roads and Boels-Dolmans was part of the action, while also keeping Guarnier safe. When Karol-Ann Canuel, world champion Chantal Blaak and Guarnier all made it into the decisive lead group in the final of the race, it was up to Guarnier to finish it off on the finish climb, the Cow and Calf.
“We had a really strong team here that were looking for earlier breaks and attacks and we had Chantal up the road in a small break into the Old Pool Climb over which the final 15-rider selection was made,” Guarnier said. “I was always waiting for the final climb. This was perfect because the race tactic left us with three riders in that final selection, with Karo, Chantal and me.”
Guarnier looks back on a great debut in Yorkshire and cherishes the racing in a very supportive part of the world.
“The racing here is always fun,” she said. “The courses are challenging and the crowds are incredible. The Tour of Yorkshire is making important steps in moving women’s cycling forward with the video coverage, prize money and professionalism of this race. They are setting a standard that we would like to see more of to continue to grow women’s cycling."