Cycling Weekly — February 08, 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1


izzie Deignan has put her 2020
retirement plans on hold and hinted
that her career may continue beyond
the end of the decade with a new outfit. The
Boels-Dolmans rider had previously suggested
retiring after the 2019 World Championships, to
be held in her native Yorkshire.
“I’m not restricting myself, or saying Yorkshire
will be the end, or even Tokyo [2020],” Deignan
told CW. “I am still only 29 and I think I need a
different focus and a different approach. I can’t
keep doing the same things because I am not
motivated in the same way.
“The calendar is not changing, my team is not
changing at the moment, so it has to come from
a bit of introspection and having a look at what
drives me, where I need to be and who I need to
work with.”
Deignan joined Boels-Dolmans at its inception
in 2013 and has experienced the majority of her
success with the team. Her rise to the pinnacle
of the sport has coincided with the team’s ascent
to the top. “I’ve had great opportunities here and
there is no better women’s team in the world, no
grass is greener, she said. “Sometimes you have
to change things.”

The change in approach comes after her bid
to reclaim the rainbow jersey was scuppered
by appendicitis just three weeks before last
September’s World Championships.
“I don’t have any plans and I’m feeling really
comfortable being like that. Normally I am so
focused and goal-orientated, and because of
what happened last year I am not going to put
that kind of pressure on myself.”
While most top teams are well stocked
with talent many would welcome Deignan’s
experience and stellar palmarès. Former
UCI president Brian Cookson is currently
trying to build a women’s team, though
Cycling Weekly understands a big sponsor
is yet to be found.
Deignan will again target the rainbow jersey
in Austria this September, though she will not
defend her Commonwealth title on Australia’s
Gold Coast this spring.
“It is the same time as the Ardennes Classics
and my responsibilities lie with my trade team,”
she said. “I have been twice and come away with
a silver and gold. I don’t need a bronze.”
Instead Deignan aims to be competitive for the
Tour of Flanders onwards, with the Ardennes
Classics and the Tour de Yorkshire targets before
the defence of her national title in June.

Owen Rogers

Photo: Boels-Dolmans, Alex Whitehead/SWPix

Deignan rethinking

retirement plans

A new focus may override Brit’s intentions to bow out

10 | February 8, 2018 | Cycling Weekly
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