Welcome to the Cyclingnews Podcast Women's Edition, brought to you by Sportful, Pinarello and Floyds of Leadville.
In this episode Cyclingnews' women’s editor Kirsten Frattini sits down with former world champion and new mom Lizzie Deignan to discuss motherhood, her postpartum return to pro cycling, dreams of winning a second world title at Yorkshire World Championships, and her biggest hopes for the future of women's cycling.
Deignan took time away from the sport to give birth to her first child and only recently returned to the peloton with her new team Trek-Segafredo. She chose to make her comeback at the Ardennes Classics, and then raced Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of California and the OVO Energy Women's Tour, where she won the overall title.
At a time when major sport sponsors are pushing promotional content geared toward equality, female athletes such as American Olympians Kara Goucher, Allyson Felix and Alysia Montaño, have exposed American company Nike for its performance-based reductions clause in athlete contracts, and how that affects athletes who want to have a baby.
Montaño wrote a detailed opinion piece in The New York Times titled "Nike told me to dream crazy, until I wanted a baby", where she described the company's policy of reducing and cutting salaries after some of its female athletes decided to become pregnant.
Female cyclists can relate to this policy because it is common for teams to add pregnancy clauses into rider contracts, and contracts have been cancelled or considered nullified if an athlete becomes pregnant.
Hear from Deignan on her decision to start a family while at the peak of her cycling career and why she left long-time team Boels Dolmans. She also speaks about the importance of competing for a team and sponsors that support her cycling career while also being a mother.
Deignan also spoke about the UCI's decision to include a maternity clause and other insurances into its standard athlete-team contracts beginning in 2020. The maternity leave clause, which is included in the self-employed standard contract, will allow for women to take three months leave while being entitled to 100 per cent of their salary, followed by an additional five months at 50 per cent of their salary.
Deignan, who is married to recently retired cyclist Philip Deignan, noted that a similar amendment in the form of a paternity clause would be welcomed among the men’s peloton as well.
We hope you enjoy our discussion with Lizzie Deignan.
If this is your first time listening to the Women’s edition podcast, make sure you go back and listen to our previous three episodes; The edge of popularity, Behind the scenes at Trek-Segafredo and What makes a woman?
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