Tokyo glory would help erase the pain of Rio for Lizzie Deignan

Lizzie Deignan wants to ride on to Tokyo 2020 to erase the 'horrendous' Olympic memories of Rio.

Lizzie Deignan: The new mother is targeting a third Olympics in 2020.

The 29-year-old Otley racer’s sole aim for 2019 is September’s Road World Championships in her native Yorkshire.

And Deignan, who under her maiden name Armitstead won the 2015 world title, plans to retire after a third Olympics in Tokyo, hoping to have created positive memories after a fraught Rio Games in 2016.

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“I wouldn’t be happy to leave it with that Olympic experience of Rio,” said Deignan, speaking at the Rouleur Classic in London.

Trek Factory Racing's Lizzie Deignan speaks to the media during a press conference in Aix-les-Bains, France. (Picture: Ian Parker/PA Wire)

“I want to be a fan of the Olympics again. I want to watch it and love it.

“I don’t want to have painful memories of it. Tokyo’s my opportunity to do that. Whether I’m successful or not doesn’t really matter.”

Rio hurts her because of the build-up. Deignan, who won Great Britain’s first medal of London 2012 with silver in the road race, faced a two-year ban for missing three drugs tests. When news of her successful appeal seeped out prior to the Rio Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport threw out UK Anti-Doping’s charge, many questioned whether Deignan should take to the Olympic start line at all.

Then the reigning world champion, she had been among the favourites for Olympic gold on Copacabana Beach. After a disrupted, agonising build-up, she finished fifth.

“That was just horrendous, the whole experience,” said Deignan is enjoying a happier experience as a new mother. She and husband Philip, a Team Sky cyclist, had daughter Orla on September 23 in Harrogate.