LIZZIE Deignan revealed she used local knowledge to defy her race director and solo to victory in the Women's Tour de Yorkshire in Harrogate.

The former world champion attacked out of the breakaway with 13.5 kilometres left of the 122.5km stage from Tadcaster, but only after being told by her Boels Dolmans team to sit up and wait for a sprint finish.

The Otley rider decided she knew her way around Yorkshire a little better and pushed on, eventually winning by 55 seconds from a chasing pack led by Coryn Rivera of Team Sunweb.

Deignan had been out in front along with team-mate Anna van der Breggen, the Olympic and European champion, and British rider Dani King of Cylance, but a lead that had been close to two minutes had been halved with 30km to go.

"The chasing group was coming pretty close and my race director said, 'Wait for the sprint Lizzie, you're coming back'. But I thought, 'No, I'm not waiting for the sprint, I know the roads better than you and it's not coming back'," Deignan said.

"I took advantage of one of the little kickers and went for it."

King battled gamely to stay with her but did not have the legs after doing plenty of early work in the break, and Deignan soloed home to popular acclaim in front of huge crowds in Harrogate.

"It's special and surreal," she said of the welcome she received, having had enough time in hand to soak up the final kilometre. "I still can't get my head around how many people came out to support us."

After King had helped the early break pull out a lead of 90 seconds, Deignan and Van der Breggen used the only categorised climb of the day, the Cote de Lofthouse, to attack out of the peloton.

As the race splintered behind them they soon caught the break and then powered clear, with only King able to respond.

"We knew that Lofthouse would be the breaking point in the race and we sent Amy Pieters up the road in the breakaway," Deignan said. "Me and Anna jumped across and we knew at that point we had the race in our hands."

Van der Breggen worked tirelessly to keep up the pace and hold off the chase – and having a rider of her calibre working in a support role is testament to the superior strength of the Boels Dolman squad.

"I suffered a lot today but the plan was like this and it worked out," the Dutchwoman said. "We tried to make the gap as big as possible. I put in a lot of effort to do that but when the climbs were still coming I was empty but Lizzie still felt good so I told her to go and she did in an amazing way. She was so strong."

Giorgia Bronzini of the British-registered Wiggle High5 team came home in third, with British national champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon SRAM) fifth and King making it home in 10th.

But after Deignan's late attack, there was only going to be one winner.

"I didn't dare believe it until that '1km to go' banner," she said. "It was a bit of a climb up to that, and I thought I'm just getting slower and slower and they're getting faster and faster."

Among the crowds at the finish were Deignan's family, with her grandma first to give her a hug behind the podium.

"They're obviously very good," she said with a laugh. "They get through all the security fences."

East Morton's Annabel Simpson was placed 32nd riding for Drops cycling team.