Le Pays De France - Pregnant Deignan to miss 2022 cycling season

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Pregnant Deignan to miss 2022 cycling season
Pregnant Deignan to miss 2022 cycling season

Pregnant Deignan to miss 2022 cycling season

British cyclist Lizzie Deignan will miss the 2022 season as she is expecting a second child, but the former world champion intends to return to racing next year after signing a contract extension with Trek-Segafredo.

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The 33-year-old has won several major races since giving birth to her daughter Orla in 2018, including the inaugural women's Paris-Roubaix last year, Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2020, and the Women's Tour in 2019.

"Obviously having a baby is a big decision, but it wasn't a difficult one for us," said Deignan, whose husband Phil Deignan is a former professional cyclist.

"We've always wanted to have a big family and I think the time is right to have another child. Orla is ready for a sibling, I feel like I am established and able in my career to make the next step to have another child, and everything behind the scenes fell into place."

Deignan added she was due to give birth in September while also revealing she had signed a new two-year contract to cover the 2023 and 2024 racing seasons.

"I feel like I still have plenty to give from an athletic standpoint," Deignan said. "For me, it was always obvious that if we were able to have another baby then I would still return to cycling."

Deignan, who signed for Trek-Segafredo during her first pregnancy, thanked the team for their ongoing support.

"It's been quite an emotional experience, actually," she said. "Talking with Trek and telling them about my pregnancy, they gave me their complete support."

Deignan's pregnancy means she will miss the new-look Tour de France Femmes this July as well as the road race event at the multi-sport Commonwealth Games.

"I don't think there's ever a perfect time to have a baby," she added. "Just like there's never a perfect time to retire or to have an injury.

"There's so many things in sport that might make you miss an event, and for me it's the Tour de France Femmes and the Commonwealth Games this year.

"Next year it could be the first ever women's Milan-Sanremo, and that would be an amazing thing to take part in. I'm able to see past what I'll miss."