At the conclusion of the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire Women's Race there were two very different interpretations of the Harrogate circuit that will form the course for the forthcoming UCI Road World Championships in September from Lizzie Deignan and Sarah Storey.
The former UCI Road World Champion, returning to racing on home roads for Trek-Segafredo, found that the route she had recced in training was easier than expected under race conditions, not because of the momentum that's always involved of being in a peloton but rather because she had been over the wrong roads during her recon.
The Trek-Segafredo rider proved that local knowledge has to be correct to start with but that her form and intentions for the second stage were clearly indicated by a couple of stinging attacks on the run into Bedale that strung things out and caused instant reactions from her rivals.
"The circuit was really good, and to be honest I've been doing it wrong in training so I'm glad I actually saw the proper course. It's tough, it's good," she said at the finish of stage 1 in Bedale.
"I was just trying to stay warm. Normally in a race you're trying to save as much energy as you can but today there were points where you just have to ride on the front and stay warm. Towards the end we didn't have our sprinter, she's been unfortunately poorly this morning, so just did what we could and all got through safely.
"To be honest I've been doing it wrong in training! It's tough but it's good. The final couple of corners I've been coming at from a different angle. The main points of the circuit I'd been doing properly. It's a tough circuit but I like it."
Sarah Storey, who is looking to go to her eighth Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, had a contrasting view of the first stage, admitting that she suffered from the cold weather but was further challenged by the technical nature of the route.
Despite having ridden the majority of the World's circuit, save for a one way street that wasn't closed, the cambers of certain corners and the street furniture that always accompanies an urban circuit made her day much more difficult.
Taking inspiration from the large crowds in Harrogate her personal struggles didn't stop her from encouraging the newer members of Storey Racing to mix it with the more illustrious World Tour riders.
"You're not going to see me crossing the line with my arms in the air but hopefully the work I can do in the peloton with the young riders, who have not been here before, so we can support them and their development. It's an amazing experience for them," she said.
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