Lizzie Deignan is to make her professional comeback at Amstel Gold Race on April 21, less than seven months after the birth of her first child.
The 2015 world road race champion, who has not competed since the 2017 world road championships in Bergen, also announced on Tuesday that she would line up at the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race on May 3-4.
Deignan, 30, had originally not planned to return to racing until June following the birth of daughter Orla in September last year.
But having joined new team Trek-Segafredo in the off-season, and with training going well, Deignan will make her comeback later this month as she looks to build her fitness ahead of this autumn’s world road race championships, which take place in her native Yorkshire.
As well as Amstel Gold Race, Deignan will race La Fleche Wallonne Feminine, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Tour de Yorkshire and Amgen Tour of California.
Announcing her decision to race at next month’s Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, Deignan said the opportunity to test her legs on some of the same roads which will be used this autumn was too good to miss. This year’s opening stage features the same Harrogate circuit that will be used during the world championships.
“I’m so excited to ride this year’s Tour de Yorkshire,” the 2017 winner said on a visit to the Yorkshire Bank Bike Library at Leeds Urban Bike Park in Middleton. “To be able to race on some of the world championships course is an opportunity not to be missed and I can’t wait to be back on home roads and racing in front of home crowds again.”
This year’s women’s race has been moved to a Friday and Saturday – as opposed to a Thursday and Friday last year – to try to boost spectator numbers. For the first time, the two stages will be identical to those of the men. And once again there will be parity in terms of prize money.
Deignan’s participation is another boost for organisers who have already confirmed four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome and defending champion Greg Van Avermaet for the men’s race which runs from May 2-5.