IT MIGHT not start in her home town this year but Lizzie Deignan is looking forward to a Tour de Yorkshire route more suited to her style tomorrow.

Last year, race organisers were none too subtle in their attempts to ensure the then world champion was on the start line in her rainbow jersey, starting the race where she grew up in Otley.

But the relatively flat route to Doncaster did not play to Deignan's strengths and, though she was involved in a late breakaway attempt, she was caught by the peloton and finished in the main pack as Kirsten Wild won.

This year, the women's race – which will again mirror stage two of the men's race – is a more challenging 122.5km route through the Dales between Tadcaster and Harrogate.

"Last year was just an incredible experience for me, as the world champion starting a race in my home town, it was just surreal," said Deignan.

"It really brought home to me how far I'd come in my career, and how far the community of cyclists in my home town had come. I don't often get too emotional but I definitely felt a lot of emotion on the start line last year. It was really special.

"I'm really happy they've taken the women's race seriously here and I'm really happy that this year's course is more suited to me."

Deignan may no longer sport those rainbow stripes, but the 28-year-old said earlier this month she is keen to keep riding at least until the World Championships come to Yorkshire in 2019.

The prospect of that event has only helped raise the profile of the Tour de Yorkshire, which has attracted an even better line-up this year than last, when it made a splash by offering a then world record prize fund.

Last year, Deignan competed in Great Britain colours as her Dutch Boels-Dolmans team did not take part, but they will be here in force this time around with Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen also due to race.

"It's getting there but I think it needs a couple more years to establish itself on the same level as the biggest races," Deignan said of the event.

"The prize purse attracts the bigger teams and we can already see the best European teams are coming so hopefully that progression continues as it is a race people will target.

"If the Tour de Yorkshire is anything to go by, the World Championships here will be a huge. The European editions of the World Championships are always better because they are so tough.

"Britain has overtaken a lot of the other cycling nations because of the enthusiasm, and this event can now act as a warm-up."

After this weekend, Deignan will turn her attention to preparing for this year's World Championships, which will take place in Norway in September.

One rider who could be there to help Deignan is Dani King, but this weekend they will be up against each other as King suits up for Cylance Pro Cycling.

The 26-year-old rode a recce of the Tour de Yorkshire route on Monday and came away surprised by just how hard it was.

"It's very hard, actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be," she said. "There is a major climb, the Cote de Lofthouse, after about 60km. It will depend on the wind direction whether it will come back together or not after that. I think a selection will be made over that climb.

"It's really good for women's cycling that they have the women's event at the same time as the men's Tour of Yorkshire. It's going to be a really tough race, but it's one I'll definitely be looking forward to."