Almost five months after her dominant win at the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Lizzie Deignan has announced she is expecting her second child with her partner retired professional cyclist Phil Deignan. Hand in hand with this wonderful news was the news that the former world champion also extended her contract with Trek-Segafredo through 2024.
“Obviously having a baby is a big decision, but it wasn’t a difficult one for us. We’ve always wanted to have a big family and I think the time is right to have another child,” said Deignan.
Deignan took 2018 off to have her daughter, and while on maternity leave from racing was scooped up by the then brand new Trek-Segafredo women’s team. The experience of having Orla and returning to racing in 2019 impacted her decision to expand her family from three to four.
“Having been through the journey of having a baby and returning to the sport, I’ve realised that it is possible, and physically it’s actually easier than I expected,” Deignan said. “It’s obviously demanding and challenging on your body but it’s certainly not limiting, so that was a huge surprise after having Orla, and something that helps my decision in coming back after another baby. It’s the stuff around it; the family life balance that sometimes is difficult to manage, but I also think that we’re at the point now, three years after having Orla, that we know what we’re doing and we feel like we can manage more, and we actually enjoy that.”
Both Deignan and her Trek-Segafredo team had been part of a wave of change in women’s cycling when it comes to maternity. Professional athletes having babies is nothing new, but with Deignan’s comeback in 2019 supported by a top tier women’s team the concept of taking time off to start a family for both athlete and team is becoming more accepted.