Road World Championships: Lizzie Deignan says a second world title would be 'elation'

Britain's Lizzie Deignan smiles on the podium after winning the 2019 Women's Tour
Lizzie Deignan won the 2019 Women's Tour in June, nine months after giving birth
UCI Road World Championships
Location: Yorkshire Dates: 22-29 September
Coverage: Live coverage of each race across BBC Two, the Red Button and iPlayer, as well as live text coverage of the elite men's and women's road races on the BBC Sport website and app

Lizzie Deignan says winning a second world road race championship in Yorkshire would bring "elation" rather than the "relief" of her first title.

Britain's Deignan, 30, won road race gold in 2015 at Richmond, in the USA, after being billed as the favourite.

But having returned to cycling in April after giving birth to her daughter Orla last year, Deignan says she is not the favourite to win on Saturday.

"Winning here would be a totally different feeling," she told BBC Sport.

"I went into Richmond in 2015 as the out-and-out favourite, I delivered and when I crossed the line it was a sense of relief.

"Physically I'm not the strongest on the start line but on my best day, with the best conditions and the best luck, I have a chance.

"To win here would be elation rather than relief."

Deignan will lead the British team of six riders over the undulating 149.4 km course from Bradford to Harrogate, with Lizzy Banks, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Anna Henderson and Nikki Juniper the other home riders.

The Otley-born rider says her familiarity with the roads will be an advantage but has picked Dutch three-time world champion Marianne Vos, who beat Deignan to gold in the London 2012 road race, as the rider to beat.

"The course is really hard but these roads do lend themselves to my style of riding," she said.

"The terrain is relentless and punishing and you never feel good - that's a real advantage to understand that and know I'm never going to feel like I've got great legs, it's going to be a slog from the start to the finish.

"My favourite is Marianne Vos - she's an incredible athlete and is having a renaissance in her career at the moment and she knows how to deliver on a championship stage."

The Netherlands appear to have the strongest team in the race, featuring the past two world road race champions - Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak - and two-time world time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten, while Deignan said that Lucinda Brand could also be "a real dark horse" for victory.

Deignan said she therefore will not seek to dictate the race but will be "following and making my moves at very specific times."

She added she was relishing the opportunity to race a "surreal" course that passes so many places with significance to her.

"I never thought I would ride a home world championships - a home Olympics was special enough and this is a real privilege," she said.

"The whole route is surreal - it starts in Bradford, my sister lives in Bradford, it goes through Otley, my home town, past the church I was married in, past my school, past my parents' house and finishes where we live now and where my daughter was born."

The elite women's road race is set to start at 11:40 BST and finish between 15:30 and 16:00.

Women's Elite road race route profile
The 149.5km women's road race takes place on Saturday

Top Stories