‘I thought it was a weird sport’: Lizzie Deignan on how she started cycling on ‘Home Roads’ podcast

The former world champion gives an honest view of her life while riding in Yorkshire with Matt Barbet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lizzie Deignan as offered an honest insight into how she started riding, being scouted from school, and how she spent her year away from racing in the ‘Home Roads’ podcast.

The show is hosted by presenter and journalist Matt Barbet, who takes some of the biggest cycling stars riding on their home roads and takes a dive into their lives.

Former world champion Deignan, 30, joined Barbet to ride near her home town of Otley and recce some of the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships course.

>>> What did you think of the first ever World Championships mixed relay team time trial? 

Deignan, who rides for Trek-Segafredo on the road, is set to carry British hopes in the women’s elite road race at the Yorkshire Worlds.

She told Barbet: “I started cycling when I was 15. I was talent spotted at school. I wasn’t a cyclist, I didn’t have a bike and basically British Cycling were talent spotting. They sent trailers into schools full of bikes and did crude testing on school fields.

“I was just messing around and there was this lad who I’d known from primary school who taunted me into having a race with him and I couldn’t resist. I beat him obviously.

“I was given a bike, a coach and £500 of lottery funding.”

Deignan adds that she didn’t enjoy cycling to start with and thought it was a weird sport, and said she wishes she was more competitive.

You can listen to the episode here.  (opens in new tab)

>>> Here is the full weather forecast for the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships 

Barbet has also interviewed the retired Tour de France winner and former world champion Cadel Evans while riding around Mendrisio, Switzerland, where he won the world title 10 years ago.

The Australian talks about win in Switzerland, living just a few kilometres away from the site of that famous victory and the Tour de France.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.