Lizzie Deignan, a highly regarded figure in UK road racing, is set to make a keenly awaited comeback at this year’s Ford RideLondon Classique, scheduled for the weekend of 26 to 28 May.
The former World Road Race Champion and four-time British Road Race Champion will return to competition following the birth of her second child last year. Her participation in the Ford RideLondon Classique marks her inaugural appearance in the event, the only UCI Women’s World Tour race in Britain.
The rider for Trek-Segafredo is a notable name among the preliminary entrants for this year’s Ford RideLondon Classique, which was announced today (11 May).
Deignan is amongst a robust group of British competitors in the race. Also featured are Pfeiffer Georgi, a previous National Road Race Champion and victor of this year’s Classic Brugge-De Panne; Anna Henderson, an erstwhile National Road Race Time-Trial Champion and the 2022 RideLondon Classique’s Ford Queen of the Mountain’s jersey winner; and Alice Towers, the reigning National Road Race Champion.
Other eminent figures in the field include Elisa Balsamo, a past World Champion and runner-up at RideLondon 2022; Chiara Consonni, a Giro d’Italia Donne stage victor and former champion of Dwars door Vlaanderen; and Charlotte Kool, who recently won a stage at the Vuelta Feminina.
The London 2012 Olympic silver medallist and double Commonwealth Games medallist, Deignan, last competed on home ground in the Women’s Tour in October 2021, prior to her second maternity leave. She re-emerged in the competition scene last month, participating in La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, before racing at the Vuelta Feminina.
Six of the top ten teams in the UCI Women’s World Tour Rankings are slated to participate in this year’s race, the sole UCI World Tour race taking place in the UK in 2023.
Trek-Segafredo, FDJ-Suez, Team DSM, Canyon//SRAM Racing, UAE Team ADQ, and Team Jumbo-Visma are all confirmed to compete in this year’s Ford RideLondon Classique, happening over the weekend of 26 to 28 May.
In total, 19 teams, each comprising six riders, will compete in this year’s race, including nine UCI Women’s WorldTour teams and 10 UCI Women’s Continental teams.
Among the UCI Women’s Continental teams are three British teams: AWOL O’Shea, DAS-Handsling Bikes, and Lifeplus Wahoo.
The Ford RideLondon Classique commences with two stages in Essex on 26 and 27 May. The first stage (150km) will run from Saffron Walden to Colchester, while the second stage (140km) will start and finish in Maldon. The iconic final stage (91km) will take place in central London, with the start and finish line on The Mall.
“It is a pleasure to be racing the Ford RideLondon Classique this year after so long off the bike. I have some miles in my legs after an earlier than anticipated comeback and am feeling strong for this race. The beautiful countryside of Essex and the iconic London stage finishing on The Mall promise to be packed with cycling enthusiasts and I hope to be able to open the door to this fantastic sport to the next generation of cyclists.”Lizzie Deignan
“We are over the moon that Lizzie will make her much-anticipated return to the roads of the UK at the 2023 Ford RideLondon Classique. Lizzie is synonymous with the most successful period in British cycling history and has inspired a generation of women and girls to get on the bike and take up cycling. This year’s Classique is a wide-open field and predicting the winner is no mean feat.
Lizzie joins a host of talented riders from Great Britain and around the world in showcasing the quality of the women’s peloton to the people of London and Essex, and the thousands of spectators who travel to watch. It promises to be a very exciting event.”Scott Sunderland, race director