Trek-Segafredo, Lizzie Dignan, awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire: “Proud, it’s been a huge change towards our mother athletes”

In 2022 he will not run. And he probably won’t do it again before May 2023. But what he did and what he’s doing, Elizabeth Dignan It will remain imprinted in the history of women’s cycling. The English lady, from Leeds, chose to pause her career in 2018, when she was already a champion at the height of her fame (World Cup 2015 And the Tour of Flanders 2016 Among the various successes of his billboard) to support pregnancy. With another fan, little Orla, the British woman returned to the competition and did it brilliantly, winning, among other things, Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2020 And above all, the first – historical – Paris Roubaix feminine, in 2021.

After her victory at Roubaix, Deignan stopped again to give birth to Shee. But the British woman intends to get back into the race, and perhaps leave her mark in the other golden books. All with the great support of his team, and trek segafredo, which extended its contract until the end of 2024. Deignan’s ride in recent years has been a huge inspiration in the world of cycling, and in women’s sports in general, and has also attracted significant interest in the non-sport field, so much so that 2015 World Champion Richmond was awarded the desk. Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a recognition reserved for people who have “give stature to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in the artistic, cultural, sporting, economic, scientific and educational fields”.

“I’m proud – we’ve collected the words of the 34-year-old from Leeds The Independent – To see what I did in cycling recognized like this is so much more than a result. It will certainly be a long-term thing: when I am 50-60 years old, I will still have an MBE (English abbreviation for the Order of Merit – so), although my successes will be long gone. Have you been a role model for other women? I hope so, though I have never claimed to inspire others: I have always had only personal motives, of collecting results and building a family. What came of it was random.”

Deignan plans to return to racing in May 2023: “But who knows? I want to compete when I can contribute to team results and help my teammates. Last time I only wanted to get back to racing when I felt ready to win myself, but this time I feel a lot less pressure.” I don’t have to prove anything, so I might be back racing before May.”

A comment on the current state of female athletes is unavoidable: “I like to think I’ve led other women to think that the two things don’t necessarily have to be separated. And also – in Deignan’s words – to get sponsors and teams to realize that it’s possible and that it can be supported in a positive way.” My reactions to the motherhood of my first two could not have been more different: In 2018 there were a lot of people saying I was ending my career when I was still at the top and wondering why I was expecting team support or contractual rights. In 2021, many congratulations. I didn’t. There was no doubt that Trek-Segafredo would support me. I think I opened a path that prevents athletes from being treated as I was in 2018.”

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Queenie Bell

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