Lizzie Deignan: Being underdogs at the Tokyo Olympics isn’t a bad thing

during the Women's Road Race on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Fort Copacabana on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Lizzie Deignan at the 2016 Rio Olympics (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Great Britain will be lining up at the women’s road race in the Tokyo Olympic Games  on Sunday with just two riders, Lizzie Deignan and neo-pro Anna Shackley, against the might of the unquestionable Dutch favourites who are fielding four of the world’s top riders. The role of the underdog, however, could just work to their advantage. 

Deignan, 32, who has a lengthy list of wins to her name including a World Championship, may not be entering the race with a large squad but after an unexpected fourth place at the Giro d’Italia Donne it is clear she has form, as well as experience, on her side. Plus, on the 137-kilometre course, with the largest climb peaking 80 kilometres into the race, the opportunistic approach that a small team necessitates could be just what’s required. 

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