Four-time national road race champion Lizzie Deignan believes that this week’s HSBC UK | National Road Championships will carry extra prestige, as momentum builds towards a home world championships later this year.
Thursday’s time trials and Sunday’s road races take place less than three months before the UCI Road World Championships take place on British soil for the first time since 1982.
Deignan – the 2015 world champion – is among the riders vying for a place in the Great Britain team for Yorkshire 2019, and she believes that the national championships will give riders a great chance to stake a claim for selection.
“I think the national championships is a massive opportunity for anyone on the start line to showcase their ability and show their hand for world championships selection.
“It’s one of the hardest races of the season to win, and if you’re able to become a national champion then you have a strong chance of becoming part of the worlds team, definitely.”
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour winner claimed the most recent of her four national road race titles on the Isle of Man in 2017. Jess Roberts took that crown last year, but with both riders absent from the field this year, Hannah Barnes is the only name on the women’s start list who has previously won the national road race title.
Deignan believes that whoever earns the national champion’s jersey on Sunday will always regard the achievement as one of the best of their career.
“I absolutely loved being national champion. It’s one of those things that every rider strives for in their career, and the enjoyment and pride that you get every time you wear that jersey for the season is really special. It’s something I would love to be able to do again in my career.”