Neah Evans labelled her last gruelling kilometre as the toughest road finale she has ever faced after bringing the curtain down on the 2018 ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Women’s race.
The Scot hit the deck when crashing on Thursday’s first stage but emphatically got herself back up to take to Friday’s start line, the first time the women’s race has covered two stages.
But that proved just the start of the task, a 120km assault from Barnsley to Ilkley culminating in a gargantuan summit finish for the first time.
Alongside her Storey Racing teammates, Evans certainly did herself proud too – not far off the leading group, headed up by race winner Megan Guarnier.
And with just 24 hours between her incident and finishing her two days on a high, things are looking bright for the rest of the season for the 27-year-old.
“I hadn’t recced it so I hadn’t quite appreciated how much it was going to kick on at the end,” she admitted.
“It picked up in the town and from there I knew it was going to be tough, I could see the kilometres ticking down but I felt alright – and then it just ramped up.
“That’s the toughest last kilometre I’ve had on the road, I was hoping that it was going to be a little bit softer because I can sit and follow a wheel quite nicely.
“We had three riders right at the top there coming through do that’s fantastic, it’s the first time we’ve raced altogether as a team and unfortunately we were a man down after the first stage.
“But the rest worked together really well, there was some great communication and the finish was strong, it’s really fantastic and exciting to see what we can do for the rest of the season.
“I’m not quite as sore as I was and I’ve got a rest coming up – on Thursday I hit the deck and then knew I had 120km still to come!”
Both the stage win and general classification went to Guarnier, seeing her don the Yorkshire Bank and Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries leader’s jersey come the event’s conclusion.
Launched as a legacy of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Bank Bike Librariesaims to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike.
Since the launch of this ground-breaking initiative, 49 bike libraries have opened across the county, creating over 50,000 chances for children to ride a bike.
But there wasn’t the same happy ending for Evans’ fellow Scot Katie Archibald, crashing on stage two and being taken to hospital as a precaution.
A track specialist, Archibald wasn’t expected to be challenging for top honours in this race, citing time on the road as a rare treat.
But it proved anything but as she held her right shoulder after an early collision, sent for scans as she was left unable to finish this year’s event when also banging her head.
Yorkshire Bank is an Official Partner of the Tour de Yorkshire and the ground-breaking Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries initiative. Visit www.ybonline.co.uk/tdy