LIZZIE Deignan came second to Annemiek van Vleuten in La Course.

The Otley star started the second stage, a pursuit race in Marseille, 43 seconds behind the Dutch rider after Thursday's stage on the Col d'Izoard.

And that margin grew to one minute and 50 seconds by the end of the race.

The margin of victory allowed Van Vleuten to ease up before the finish line and soak up the atmosphere in the Stade Velodrome after a 22.5 kilometre race around the city - which included one notable climb up to the Notre Dame de la Garde.

In this revamped event, the riders started in intervals according their times gaps on Thursday's stage.

But such was Van Vleuten's dominance that there would be no real battle on the road.

"The format needs some work – it was good but there is definitely work to be done," Deignan said. "I'm open minded to the concept but it needs tidying up.

"I wish I had done a recon today – I was not expecting that climb. I thought of Thursday as a race but today was a bit of fun."

From the start Deignan chose to wait for Wiggle High5's Elisa Longo Borghini and her Boels-Dolmans team-mate Megan Guarnier in the hope that together the three of them could chase down Van Vleuten.

But in doing so Deignan conceded almost a minute to Van Vleuten and there was no way back against the three-time Dutch national time trial champion.

Guarnier was dropped on the climb, leaving Deignan and Longo Borghini to battle over second, though the Italian put up little resistance as they came into the stadium.

The previous three editions of La Course took place on the final Sunday of the Tour de France, with a sprint on the Champs-Elysees.

Although the new format shows a desire to innovate, Deignan said it still fell short of requirements.

"There needs to be changes in modern cycling - you've got to give the consumer something new," she said.

"We got exposure today but it's not where it needs to be – behind the scenes, in terms of logistics, we were left wondering what was going to happen at times but I enjoyed the crowds, it's not something we get that often."