It was an emotional day for British rider Lizzie Deignan as she claimed victory on stage five of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Powys, Wales – her first win since the birth of her daughter, Orla, last September.

We spoke to the key players after a potentially race-deciding stage between Llandrindod Wells and the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells to get their reaction. Here are the pick of their quotes…

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), stage winner

“I can’t quite really describe it; it was probably the nicest win I’ve had in a very long time. I really savoured it and really enjoyed it and I will do for a long time.

“I’ve doubted my comeback every day probably since the day she [her daughter Orla] was born but I’ve had incredible support from my family, particularly my husband, who has been with me every step of the way. I definitely thought about him on the finish line today.

“The attack was actually kind of instinctive – it wasn’t the plan. I kept looking over at Elisa [Longo Borghini, her Trek-Segafredo team-mate] and noticed she was looking back at me. I just thought ‘go on then, we’ll give it a try’. I went, then Kasia took over, which was much stronger than my initial attack! I kind of survived with the other two over the top of the climb and we worked together then until the finish.

“I probably went a little bit early in the sprint but it was good in the end because I think I had maybe a second on Kasia in the finish. It’s hard to judge a finish that you’ve never seen before. But thank you very much to Elisa, because it was down to her that we made it to the finish with such a gap.

“Kasia’s an incredibly strong rider, I have a lot of respect for her, so it will be some fun racing tomorrow. I think we’ll miss Trixi Worrack, our road captain, but I think Canyon//SRAM have five riders as well. So it’s kind of equal numbers there – we’ll have some fun whatever happens.”

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing), second

“The main action happened on the long 2.5-kilometre climb [at Epynt]. Hannah Barnes was pacing pretty hard from the bottom of the climb. It was funny because when I wanted to attack, then Lizzie went, so we kind of went at the same time. We continued and at the top of the climb there were three of us: Elisa [Longo Borghini], Lizzie and myself. From then on we tried to go full gas.

“Lizzie was saving herself for the sprint of course and it was kind of déja vu for me from the times when I was always between Boels Dolmans riders and now I have to deal with the Trek-Segafredo riders! Overall I’m happy. The girls were amazing today. I knew that Lizzie is extremely fast in the sprint.

“Tomorrow is going to be the final battle. I’m actually pretty excited and curious to see how it’s going to be because of course Trek has a strong team and they’re going to control the race from the start. Although there are so many teams eager to fight and split the race, we’ll see.”

Amalie Dideriksen (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team), 26th and Wahooligan Combativity Award winner

“In the beginning there were a lot of different attacks. Then after the [Eisberg] sprint [at Beguildy] we just went and got a gap. I hoped that we could make it to the top of the second big climb [at Epynt] but we got caught in the middle so, yeah, from there on it was very tough!

“It’s always good to be represented in the break as if it sticks we [as a team] have one there. Getting on the podium today [as the Wahooligan Combativity Award winner] was a surprise, I didn’t expect that. 

Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), 30th and 2018 champion

“Liane [Lippert] is on good form right now and she showed yesterday that she’s one of the strongest here. I think she did really well today; she showed that she’s strong and an up-and-coming rider. Leah [Kirchmann] was also strong today, she won the little bunch sprint after the break as well.

I think part of our teamwork strategy is that it’s only fair if someone is stronger [gets a chance to leader] and the course suits Liane’s strengths. I’m here to do the best I can, whether it’s for the win or as support, so that’s what I’ll do. It was a beautiful stage – really hard – and I’m just happy that it also didn’t rain today.     

“It’s nice to still have a jersey [the Eisberg sprints jersey] and I have a pretty healthy lead, so hopefully I hold onto it tomorrow.”

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Welsh Government

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to host the OVO Energy Women’s Tour again this year and that we’ve been able to see some of the world’s best female road cyclists compete across our stunning landscapes.

“Two of the six stages will have been hosted in Wales – here in Powys today and the final stage in Carmarthenshire tomorrow. As ever, cyclists are guaranteed a warm and enthusiastic welcome from fans in Wales who are always keen to see them compete at this world class level.  Congratulations to Lizzie Deignan – Llongyfarchiadau!”