Gallery: La Course by Le Tour de France 2020
There were some, including a certain rider who may or may not spend most of her time in a somewhat striking rainbow striped outfit, who had expressed the view that the parcours for this race was not befitting of the Women's WorldTour. In response others, who may or may not include the rider who triumphed today, suggested that the aforementioned individual was merely grumbling because the course was ill-suited to her particular strengths.
Who are we to say which of the two positions was correct? Well, as it happens, we're the world's finest cycling magazine, and we certainly know a good bike race when we watch one.
In the end, while the route was, not the most objectively challenging, there was enough in it to cause a shuffling of the pack. When the racing got going good and proper, it was half a dozen of the Women's WorldTour's finest who managed to separate themselves from the rest. They represented a variety of of different types of rider. Only two were from the same team.
And it was that team - Trek-Segafredo, in case you haven't figured it out yet - which managed to make their margin count.
With neither Côte de Rimiez nor the subsequent, shallower climb up to Aspremont enough to reduce the six down to, well, less than six, once the group arrived back on Nice's Promenade des Anglais, unless one last dart could break the group apart, the sprint finish looked nailed on. AVV tried - and failed - for the final time; neither Kasia Niewiadoma not Demi Vollering had anything left in their legs; Vos and Deignan wanted to go heads-up; Longo-Borghini, more of a diesel, was all in for Deignan.
(That, by the way, reminds me to ask if we can please issue a temporary moratorium on the phrase "cat and mouse tactics"? Maybe play with poker metaphors for a while? No? Okay.)
Lizzie Deignan found herself on the front, with everyone looking at her. She needed her team-mate to do her thing. The Italian duly delivered, going from the back and forcing Vos to follow. Last year's winner looked to have stolen a march on the British rider but there was more road left, and Deignan was able to come back at her, stealing it on the line with an impeccably executed lunge.
Hell of a race.