Lizzy Banks entered the first edition of Tour de Yorkshire in 2015 on the fringes of British cycling.
At the time, the women’s tour was a one-day event, a 50-mile ride round the city of York.
Lizzy was in her first year of cycling and still completing her medical degree at the University of Sheffield, something she had to give up to pursue sport full-time.
During the race her gear cable broke and she was eventually dropped but maintains she loved her first experience of the tour.
Two years later she took to the course again, this time with her support team, and found herself riding alongside the world champion in what had now become a huge competition.
Lizzy’s third appearance in the tour will be her first with a professional team, Bigla, and the 28-year-old is hoping to make one of the podiums.
She said: “It would be really nice to get on the podium, whether that will be in a winner’s jersey, an aggressive rider’s jersey or a British rider’s jersey but we definitely want to take one of them away with us.
“I’m sure as always there’s going to be loads of crowds on the roads, it’s a pretty tough course as well. I can’t wait, it’s going to be a great race.”
In 2015 the course was won by Britain’s Louise Mahé and Yorkshire’s Lizzie Deignan was victorious in 2017.
The women’s race kicks off in Barnsley on Friday, where riders will make their way through to the North Yorkshire town of Bedale.
Stage two will include a route along the coast from Bridlington to Scarborough and it’s this part of the course that Lizzy thinks could be the key.
“The second stage which goes into the North Yorkshire Moors is going to be really exciting.
“There’s some pretty savage climbs in the second stage too so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the peloton.”
The women’s stages can be watched live on ITV4 from 9am- 1pm on Friday and 9am-1.15pm on Saturday.