Lizzie Deignan believes that cycling in women is at a “big hour” as the global coronavirus pandemic begins to emerge.
Last month the updated Women’s World Tour 2020 schedule was officially augmented by a Paris-Roubaix race and a third day of the Challenge of La Vuelta.
Deignan, who was on her bike last year because of her daughter’s birth, missed a span of 2018, and revealed that she was pleased about the situation.
“I think we’re at a really important time now,” Deignan said.
Progress has really been made, and I don’t see that there’s going to be a huge regression any more.
The UCI was under increased pressure to improve equality between men and women before the updated calendar had been confirmed.
The governing body in January announced women’s reforms, with the addition of Paris-Roubaix believing it is a further step forward.
“I’m just delighted about Roubaix,” Deignan added.
Yeah, I was really surprised to see that, despite a pandemic and all the rest of it, women’s cycling is still having this amazing kind of pivotal moment. I think it’s quite a huge step forward. I’m really excited by it.
In spite of concerns over the future viability of teams such as CCC-Liv and Bigla-Katusha due to the coronavirus pandemic, Deignan is confident women’s biking has a bright future.
“I was worried that the pandemic would stop progress, but actually, the signs are really good,” she said.
“I think women’s cycling is going to come out of this OK – it’s still kind of foot on the gas.”