Lizzie Deignan ‘optimistic’ after impressive World Championships performance

Brit says she felt the efforts of early breakaway in closing stages of ‘relentless’ race

Lizzie Deignan
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lizzie Deignan was full of positivity after her strong showing in the elite women’s road race at the World Championships and believes there is more to come from her in the races and weeks ahead.

Earlier this year, Deignan made her comeback to the women’s WorldTour peloton after giving birth to her second child.

The 34-year-old made the early breakaway in the gruelling race from Loch Lomond to the urban Glasgow circuit which was eventually reeled back in. Once the peloton had broken up into a select group of riders - containing all the pre-race favourites - Deignan launched a late attack in an attempt to outfox the likes of Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten amongst others.

Kopecky went on to take the win with Vollering grabbing the runner up spot.

Deignan told the press, including Cycling Weekly, that she had taken a lot of satisfaction in her performance despite her eventual sixth placed finish.

“As a team, I think we rode really well [today]. We were always with the moves and we were just out gunned in the finaI,” she said. “It  wasn't anything other than not having the legs to follow the best in the world.

“I've definitely got further to go, that's why I'm optimistic about my performance and I know, kind of the ups and downs that have come before this. And like I say, there's no such thing as perfect preparation, but a solid winter I think will make all the difference”

Deignan explained that the relentless race had meant that she had to adapt her planned tactics out on the road as the race progressed.

“I'm really pleased with my performance and tactically, I think I did what I could,” she added. “I kind of had to change tactics quite a lot throughout the race… Looking at the other races previously, it was like an early breakaway was a smart move, but the conditions never deteriorated.

“Today, we were hoping for rain and actually it was dry and warm and fast and the break that I was in didn't stick, I burnt a few matches there and then it just kind of felt a bit relentless.”

Deignan only returned to competition in the spring at Liège–Bastogne–Liège and Flèche Wallonne. Despite her absence from racing she explained that she always backed herself to put in a solid performance in Scotland.

“I knew I was capable of it but it's good I guess to kind of put that marker down still but I should probably go in as one of the leaders,” she said when asked about her role in the GB women’s team.

Deignan recently rode the Tour de France Femmes and said that the intense summer of racing combined with parenthood had been a tough balancing act in recent weeks.

She said: “I gambled on just having loads of rest because I think it's really hard between a massive race like the Tour de France and the World Championships to not overcook it. I think a lot of riders are tired. It's a different point in the season, August.

“Normally everyone has a bit of a dip and then comes up again for worlds. And I think I feel that everyone's just a little bit fatigued.

“I'd love to say so, but no, they're just getting a bit more complicated, but we will find that balance,” she explained when asked how she was balancing training and parenthood. “It's not like every other rider on the start line has perfect preparation either and you kind of put that to the back of your mind really when you're on the start line.”

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