A lucky family meets Lizzie Deignan following her podium finish at Stage One of the Ford RideLondon Classique
When one Essex family came to Colchester High Street to watch Stage One of the Ford RideLondon Classique, they were expecting to enjoy a day of top-class women’s cycling. What they ended up getting was that with quite a bit more.
Cycling superfans Louise and Gareth White, plus children Matthew, 20, Finnley, 11, and Eva, eight, were screaming on British cycling superstar Lizzie Deignan at Stage One of the Classique as the race finished in Colchester.
Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), former World Champion and four-time British Champion, finished a fine third in a sprint finish, just behind Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) and Clara Copponi (FDJ-Suez). It is Deignan’s first podium finish since October 2021.
Those screams of “Lizzie” and “Yorkshire” from the White family – dad Gareth is from Leeds – caught the attention of Deignan, who ended the day in the Best British Rider’s jersey. Deignan passed on her two bunches of flowers and her race water bottle at the end of the day, posing for a picture with Finnley and Eva.
The two youngsters couldn’t believe their luck.
“I got both sets of flowers,” said Eva. “It is really special and I was so happy to get them. We love cycling and it is so much fun to do.
“Lizzie is our favourite rider, and we love Elynor Backstedt as well. Finnley is a fan of the men’s race and I love the women riders as well.”
The biggest question at the finish was who was going to get the flowers.
“These flowers belong to mummy,” laughed Louise, from Colchester, before Eva said, “No, they are staying in my bedroom! I will put the ribbons on the wall.”
The family will be cycling over to watch Stage Two of the race tomorrow, which starts and finishes in Maldon and covers 140km.
“Tomorrow the race is going past my sister’s house in Maldon,” said Gareth. “We are cycling there as a family and we will watch from another location on the route too.”
“We have plans on Sunday but will definitely watch and will be cheering on Lizzie. She is on form, and we are very excited for the rest of the race.”
The Ford RideLondon Classique finishes on Sunday 28 May, with the final stage (91km) – the iconic finale in central London – starting and finishing on The Mall.