'It’s going to be hard but I will be a contender': Lizzie Deignan's plans for Paris

Britain’s most successful female road racer of the era, Lizzie Deignan has one medal missing from her cabinet: Olympic gold. Chris Marshall-Bell looks back on her record at the Games and ponders her prospects for Paris

Lizzie Deignan in her Tokyo Olympic kit
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For Lizzie Deignan, the Olympic Games have always hit differently. “Ask a cyclist what is more important, the rainbow bands or Olympic gold, and they’d say the rainbow bands without a doubt,” the Yorkshirewoman says. “But I’d struggle with that question because when I was growing up there was no women’s cycling on my TV, and no heroes for me to follow. But I did have Denise Lewis winning the Olympics in the heptathlon on my TV. For that reason, the Olympics are really special for me.”  

Deignan's early season plans for 2024 were scuppered after she broke her arm at the Tour of Flanders on 31 March – amazingly the 35-year old’s first broken bone in 15 years of pro cycling. However, she's got plenty of time to bounce back from this setback, in time for what will be her fourth consecutive Games. Deignan will lead the Great Britain women’s team in the road race, on 4 August, her last shot at landing a coveted gold medal. 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and feature writing across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in a number of places, but mostly in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.

He lives in Valencia, Spain.