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Deignan to focus on Giro Rosa and Tour of Flanders in late-season calendar

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo)
Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) will focus on the Giro Rosa and Tour of Flanders as part of her late-season racing programme. The former world champion says she is dreaming of winning a race for her team again once the COVID-19 coronavirus public health restrictions are lifted and racing resumes. 

"I'm particularly excited to race the 'Spring Classics'! I don’t think it matters what time of the year they’re raced. They are iconic races and daydreaming about a victory there for the team is what motivates me now during lockdown training," Deignan said in a team press statement. 

The UCI announced a late-season, revised 18-event Women's WorldTour calendar earlier this month, slated to begin on August 1 and end on November 8. The schedule will include five stage races and 13 major one-day events.

The Giro Rosa, normally held in July, will now take place from September 11-19, at the same time as the rescheduled Tour de France. The stage race has been reduced from 10 days to nine and will conclude just one day ahead of the start of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland, where the elite women's road race is set to take place on September 26.

This year's World Championships course is set to be mountainous, however, and so Deignan is looking further ahead to the 2021 World Championships that are schedule to take place in the Flanders region, with the road races expected to finish in Leuven.

Deignan will target the Tour of Flanders this fall, which will be held on October 18. She won the race in 2016 after a two-rider sprint between herself and Emma Johansson. 

"Flanders has a special place in my heart and it will be another chance to experience the climbs and cobbles before the World Championships in 2021," she said.

She will have potentially two opportunities to compete at the Tour of Flanders, this fall and next spring, ahead of next year's World Championship.

Deignan had initially contemplated retirement at the end of the 2020 season, however, she said that she is motivated to continue racing towards the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games, set to take place in August followed by the World Championships in Flanders in October of 2021.