Lizzie Deignan leads strong British team into Yorkshire 2019 world championships

Lizzie Deignan has hailed the strength of the Great Britain’s women’s team after being named as its leader for the 2019 UCI Road World Championship in her home county of Yorkshire later this month.

Lizzie Deignan. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Confirmation that Deignan will lead the six-strong GB team for the women’s elite race from Bradford to Harrogate on Saturday, September 28, was the headline announcement on a day in which the host nation began revealing their selections.

The 30-year-old former world champion, who only returned to cycling in the Spring after the birth of her first child, will be joined in home colours by Sheffield-based Lizzie Banks, 28, the Barnes sisters Hannah and Alice – the national road race champion – and Nicky Juniper 38, and Anna Henderson, 20. “It’s great to see so much strength in the British squad this year,” said Deignan.

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“Women’s cycling has come on so much in this country and there are some really talented riders joining me on the team. I look forward to racing with them.”

Sam Watson at the start of the junior men's race in Kufstein, near Innsbruck, in 2018. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Great Ayton’s Harry Tanfield is one of three men selected in the six-person team for the inaugural team time trial mixed relay, which kicks the official world championships off in Harrogate on Sunday, September 22.

Former Tour de Yorkshire stage winner Tanfield, 24, is joined by John Archibald, Dan Bigham, Lauren Dolan, Joss Lowden and Henderson.

Local interest in the junior men’s road race involves Sam Watson, 17, of Leeds, who should be able to put the experience gained at last year’s world championships in Innsbruck to good use when he lines up alongside four national team-mates on the startline in Richmond on Thursday, September 26.

Seventeen-year-old Abi Smith from Oswaldkirk in North Yorkshire has been selected for the junior women’s road race from Doncaster to Harrogate 24 hours later.