Lizzie – 2020 A Very Strange Year

Well it was a very strange year for me as it was for everyone in 2020.

It became clear back in February that there was going to be changes to this years race calendar, and one by one events were cancelled altogether or postponed, not least the big one – the Tokyo Olympics which had been the focus for everyone.

In March we got the last Jet2 flight from Nice back to Leeds-Bradford because lock-down conditions were getting tougher and tougher in many countries in Europe. Team mates living in Italy, France or Spain weren’t allowed to exercise outdoors so training would have come to a standstill unless you were into Zwift type stuff, which I find very hard to get motivated for. At least staying in Harrogate we could do our once a day exercise “locally” so I could keep a level of fitness and enjoy the many beautiful rides we have on our doorstep. Thank you for all the friendly waves.

As conditions eased some race organisers persevered and the UCI were able to put together a fairly complete if somewhat condensed schedule from June through to October.

After a couple of unlucky crashes in the opening Italian races I hit some form in July winning the GP de Plouay, although the following weekend in the Europeans I ended up in the ditch again for my third crash of the season. My subsequent wins in La Course and Bastogne Liege gave me the overall win in the Women’s World Tour. The worlds in Italy was a particularly challenging course, my training this year had not focused on long climbs so I was very happy to finish in 6th position.

Of course I am missing Phillip and Orla for long periods as a lot of the races have been back to back each week in order to fit them all in, and I am sick of having yet more Covid tests every week before every race or camp. The first test I had in Spain at a training camp was really painful whereas some of them now just tickle the back of your throat. It has been very difficult at times to maintain social distance in hotels and transport to and from events but thankfully there have been few cases in the peloton.

Hopefully next year we can have the Spring Classics in Spring again and Tokyo will go ahead.

Also I have just signed with Trek Segafredo for another two years so it’s back to the training treadmill already!

Thank you for the support I have had from you all and the lovely well wishes on Facebook and other social media. I wish you all a safe time over the coming months and good wishes for 2021.

(All photos with kind permission from @l_deignan Instagram)