Britain’s Lizzie Deignan sealed victory in the 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour after finishing safely within the front group in Saturday’s final showdown in Carmarthenshire, Wales, as Dutch rider Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) took the stage win.

We spoke to the key players after the race’s sixth stage between Carmarthen and Pembrey County Park to get their reaction. Here are the pick of their quotes…

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), overall champion

It means a huge amount. I think the last time I came here I was probably one of the favourites to win the race – this time I wasn’t a favourite, so it was a different experience. It was totally a team experience. I was not as strong as Ellen [van Dijk] or Elisa [Longo Borghini] this week, they’re phenomenal. Anna [Plichta] and Abi [van Twisk] went like horses; we lost Trixi [Worrack, following a stage three crash] but her fighting spirit lived on. We did it for her too.

I won through just grit and determination. I’m away from my daughter for a reason. I’m here to do a job and I’ve got a fantastic team around me. I don’t want to let them down.

“It’s a huge honour. I’m just delighted, lost for words really. The perspective you gain from having a year out of the sport is amazing. My attitude is just about enjoying it, I’ve never had that attitude before and it’s really paying dividends. I’m in the best team in the world I feel like from a support perspective and just the women around me just lift me up.”

Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team), stage winner

“The plan was to try to win the stage. I think we had a good plan and a good week with the whole team, so I think we need to be happy with this.

“The girls did a really strong lead-out for me and I’m happy that I could finish it off. I felt really good today and I’m happy with that because it was a really hard week and I’m happy that the last day I was still good.

“[As the number one team in the world] we don’t feel any pressure and just look day by day. We always want to win of course and this was a good week.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council

“It has been our pleasure to host the Grand Finale of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour here in Carmarthenshire, just months after hosted the Grand Depart of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in September.

This is a unique opportunity for us to showcase our stunning landscape and scenery, which I know has provided one of the most challenging stages for the cyclists in this year’s Tour, but has taken in some of our most breath-taking mountains, valleys and of course our wonderful communities.

Hosting major events like this is so important for Carmarthenshire, both in terms of its economy, and in sealing its growing reputation as a player on an international stage.

“I am proud of my team at Carmarthenshire County Council who have worked so hard alongside SweetSpot Group to bring the Tour to Carmarthenshire, but also the support of people and businesses who have created a fantastic atmosphere and given a warm Welsh welcome to everyone who has come to enjoy the day with us.”

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council Executive Board Member for Culture Sport and Tourism

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour has been a resounding success, and has been the perfect showcase of our best landscape and cycling facilities.

“As a local authority, we are proud of our significant investment in facilities and infrastructure to support the growing cycling enthusiasm that we’re working so hard to build. Today’s race started at the historic Carmarthen Velodrome, the oldest in the world, and ended at our purpose-built National Closed Road Circuit at Pembrey Country Park.

We are particularly proud of Manon Lloyd [Drops], who is from Carmarthenshire and who started her cycling career with Towy Riders in Carmarthen. It must have been a fantastic feeling for her to compete with the best in the world on home soil and I hope she felt the strength of the crowd behind her.”