Lizzie Deignan (nee Armitstead)
A World, Commonwealth & National Champion road cyclist & Olympic silver medallist, Winner of Paris-Roubaix Femmes 2021
Born: Otley, Yorkshire
Date of birth: 18th December 1988
Lives & trains: Monaco
Team: Trek Segafredo & British Cycling
Lizzie Deignan established herself as a dominant rider on the international women’s road racing scene, winning the 2014 and 2015 UCI Women’s World Cup series and achieving lifelong dreams by winning the 2015 road race World Championship in Richmond, USA and the Tour of Flanders in 2016.
The Yorkshire rider also captured the nations heart when she had the honour of being the first British athlete to win a medal - silver - at the London Olympics in 2012.
Having quickly graduated through the British Cycling system after being talent spotted at school at the age of 16, Lizzie started out on the track and soon had noticeable success winning a trio of golds – the points race, scratch race and the team pursuit – at the Track World Cup in Manchester in 2008. She followed this up with gold in the women’s team pursuit at the World Championships in 2009 and several gold medals at World Cups on the track that year.
Although Lizzie played a key role in Nicole Cooke’s winning road race team in the 2008 World Championships in Varese, Italy it was 2010 that she began to shine on the road, amassing a strong set of results with the Cervelo Test Team including a stage of the Tour de l’Aude and three stages of the Tour de l’Ardeche.
In 2011, Lizzie won the British national road race title for the first of three times and having realised that her heart was in road racing took the decision to ride on the road, not the track, at London 2012. A decision she hasn’t looked back from having won a string of titles including the Commonwealth Games road race in 2014 and many podiums with her team from 2013 – 2018 Boels Dolmans. The team was the dominant force in women’s cycling – cemented by Lizzie and the team winning the 2016 team time trial at the World Championships in Doha and holding the individual rainbow jersey in the team in 2015, 2016, 2017 - and then in 2018 after Anna van der Breggen won in Innsbruck.
After struggling with illness at the start of 2017 Lizzie soon found her stride supporting teammate Anna van der Breggen to the triple crown of Ardennes classics whilst taking 2nd in each race herself. Lizzie soon followed this up with a gritty and determined win in front of a home crowd at the Tour de Yorkshire before reclaiming the National Champions jersey, for the fourth time, on the Isle of Man. An impressive ride also saw Lizzie take second in La Course by Tour de France on the Col D'Izoard. But the preparations for the World Championships in Bergen, Norway in September took an unexpected twist after an emergency appendix operation earlier in the month which meant she was lucky to be at the start line.
Lizzie took a season off racing in 2018 and with husband Philip had their first child, Orla, in the September. When she announced her pregnancy she also announced her desire to return to cycling at the highest level after having her baby. Lizzie joined the newly formed Trek Segafredo women's road race team and made her return at the 2019 Amstel Gold, and followed this by winning the Women's Tour during the summer. She continued to show her incredible determination and competed at the World Championships in Yorkshire in September in front of her home crowds.
During the 'different' season of 2020, Lizzie had some fantastic results winning GP de Plouay and La Course, finishing as the UCI WomensTour Leader. 2021 has a mixed start with illness, but she produced some great results winning the Tour de Suisse and top results in the Giro Donne and La Course alongside a strong performance in the Olympic road race, part of an exciting spectacle.
Without doubt an amazing day in her career was on Saturday 2nd October 2021, when Lizzie won the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes after pulling away from the peloton with more than 80km to go in a spectacular race. "I feel so incredibly proud - women's cycling is at a turning point and today is part of history", Lizzie said after her victory.
Since 2018, each year Lizzie has released a collection of women's cycling clothing in collaboration with Santini SMS and produced a series of films with them documenting her pregnancy and return to cycling - The Next Race.
Lizzie’s autobiography ‘Steadfast’, was published by Blink Publishing in April 2017 and tells the story of her meteoric rise and challenges along the way in her own words. Click here to order.