The Queen Is Back—Lizzie Deignan Set To Race RideLondon Classique, a First Since Having Her Second Baby

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The Queen Is Back—Deignan Is Racing RideLondonDario Belingheri - Getty Images

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Lizzie Deignan (Trek–Segafredo) is returning to UK racing, and yeah, let’s call it a comeback. The English world champion track and road cyclist will make her return to racing at home in the RideLondon Classique this week. It will be her first UK race since October, 2021 — shortly before she went on maternity leave for her second child.

The 34-year-old is set to race beginning on Friday, with two stages in Essex and then Sunday’s finale in central London. Riders will get to celebrate on one of the world’s most famous stretches of road, from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square, which will no doubt be special for Deignan.

Trek–Segafredo released a short film last week, celebrating Deignan’s return. The film shows a candid view of Deignan and her teammates, discussing racing but also regular life — what it’s like to be a mom and how the team really functions as a family.

“If I look at my life as an athlete before I had kids, I was winning a lot more bike races,” Deignan said in the film. “But it was a relief when I won them. And now when I win a bike race it’s absolute pure joy and elation because I have this life outside of cycling that gives me so much fulfillment and so much love.”

“Obviously it’s a balancing act, and it’s difficult and I’m fatigued a lot of the time. At the end of the day, there is literally nothing left. I’ve given everything I can to my kids and my job.”

Even though adding children to a family is more work, it ends up putting things into perspective, according to Deignan. “As athletes we’re under this pressure that more is better, all the time. That you have to be at your limits at all times. When actually, that’s not sustainable or healthy. I chose to try and build a life alongside my career and it’s the best decision I've ever made.”

This will be Deignan’s first race at home, but not her first race back. She already lined up at La Fleche Wallonne last month, before competing in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and La Vuelta Femenina. “The last time I raced down the Mall outside Buckingham Palace in London, it ended pretty well,” Deignan said in a social media post, referencing her silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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