Lizzie Deignan: Lidl-Trek rider ‘pushing through pain’ after injury

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Deignan is aiming to return to the form which led to her winning some of the sport’s biggest races after giving birth to daughter Orla in 2018 – including La Course by Tour de France and the inaugural Paris Roubaix Femmes in 2021.

She is in the final year of her contract at Trek, who have started the season strongly with big victories for Deignan’s Italian team-mates Elisa Longo Borghini and Elisa Balsamo.

But Deignan herself will want to win races again after having her second child Shea – something which will be seen as a huge achievement in a sport so physically demanding.

“I’ve come back from two pregnancies, so I know the process of getting fit again. It’s about being patient.

“I’ve never broken a bone in my life before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, my husband [ex-Team Sky rider Philip Deignan] has broken several. So he has been guiding me through it,” she added.

And Deignan expects to be ready for the Women’s Tour of Britain, which returns in June following a hiatus last year because of funding issues and is now organised by British Cycling.

Former winner Deignan not only sees the race as special to her, but also as a crucial time to prove her fitness for this summer’s Paris Olympics.

“I’m already on the turbo doing the hard yards in the garage – the limiting factors are holding brake levers, gearing. I don’t have strength in my hand yet.

“The main problem is [now it is] Olympics selection time, I missed a good chunk of races I was peaking for in terms of getting selected – there’s actually plenty of time for competing [in Paris].

“But selection is harder than it’s ever been. So that’s bad timing for me.”

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