29 September 2020

Lizzie Deignan sets sights on Olympic-World title double in 2021 and rules out retirement after Tokyo Games

Lizzie Deignan has revealed she is hoping to win both the Olympic and World Championship road races next year.

The 31 year-old, who won the world title back in 2015, could only manage sixth in the road race in Imola, Italy last weekend as Anna van der Breggen took victory with a brilliant solo attack.

Meanwhile, the Olympics is something which has evaded the Brit during her career, most notably at her home Games eight years ago when she finished with the silver medal after being beaten in agonising fashion by Marianne Vos.

Deignan was beaten in the sprint by Vos at the London 2012 Games (DPA/PA Images)

But Deignan feels that given her impressive form since the coronavirus pandemic - which has seen her win GP de Plouay and La Course - she is in the right place to make 2021 a year to remember.

"I’d never sort of considered the combination going together and being unique, but you're right," she told Cycling News.

"Nicole did a phenomenal thing, and it's not been done since [Marianne Vos won the World and the Olympic titles in 2012].

"There are two opportunities I suppose - there's this year's World’s and Flanders next year, which I've definitely thought about much more. Tokyo and Flanders are a goal."

Deignan had previously said she planned to retire after the Tokyo Games, a move which was delayed by a year due to the Olympics being postponed.

But now, having come back from having a baby in such promising form, it appears she is no longer ready to pack in the sport anytime soon.

"It's funny, I should probably stop talking about retirement because no one will believe me when I actually do," she added.

"I always had in mind that Tokyo [2020] would be that retirement race but life changes and moves on. I have a family now and the break from cycling completely renewed my love for the sport.

"I don't see Tokyo [postponed to 2021] as the finish line any more, I'm very open-minded about that."

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