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RideLondon Classique: Lizzie Deignan steps up return in bid to inspire next generation

Back in action: Lizzie Deignan is back racing on British soil in the  RideLondon Classique  (AFP via Getty Images)
Back in action: Lizzie Deignan is back racing on British soil in the RideLondon Classique (AFP via Getty Images)

Lizzie Deignan makes her return to action in Britain on Friday for the first time in two years after returning from maternity leave.

Deignan last raced in Britain at the Women’s Tour in 2021 before the birth of her second child, a son, in September last year.

She made her return to the professional peloton at the Ardennes Classics in April before riding in La Vuelta Femenina.

Ahead of the three-day RideLondon Classique which takes part in Essex and London, the final stage beginning and ending on The Mall on Sunday, she said this was the first race she had a chance in which to be competitive.

“I think RideLondon is probably the first race where I feel like I’ll be able to be in the mix and able to be tactical rather than just surviving,” she said. “I think the finesse and the race rhythm have come back really quickly so I’m excited to do RideLondon. I feel like I’ve taken another step forward in my performance.”

The women’s race at RideLondon had begun as a one-day race before transforming into the three-day event it is in 2023. And Deignan said she was hoping to inspire the next generation of riders over the next three days of racing.

The 34-year-old said: “The best way to show people and to inspire people to race is to race in front of them, be part of that circuit race atmosphere in London.”