As rumours of the worlds first brand owned female cycling team filtered through to the Wattbike office we all felt the buzz; it's genuinely exciting to see the sport of cycling gather momentum in its support of female athletes.
No more than two days later the rumours were confirmed and, to our surprise and satisfaction, Wattbike ambassador Lizzie Deignan had been named as the first rider for a newly formed women's contingent of the World Tour Trek-Segafredo team.
Wattbike ambassador Lizzie Deignan is a legendary cyclist with a long list of palmarès in track and road cycling. Lizzie's successes include the 2015 World Championship Road Race Title and multiple British National Championships.
We caught up with Lizzie while she was resting at home after commentating on La Course, a women's road race that runs for a single day in France.
Wattbike: Hi Lizzie, its great to hear from you. What have you been up to and how have you been enjoying some much deserved down time?
Lizzie: I'm enjoying some time away from racing and taking the opportunity to spend more time with friends and family before our baby arrives. I've been riding my bike most days, although I have completely cut out any intensity. Im enjoying staying active.
W: Sounds like heaven to us. The announcement of the new Trek team is really exciting news, can you shed any light on how this came to be?
L: Trek currently own a racing team in all disciplines of cycling, except a professional women's road team. They decided that now was the right time and opportunity to become involved in the sport; they approached me with their new concept and I thought it would be mad not to sign up.
W: This commitment to women's cycling seems like great step forwards. How much impact will a Trek-owned, all women's team have on the sport?
L: I hope that this investment from Trek encourages other big cycling brands and sponsors to see women's cycling as a valuable investment. The sport is growing every year and the new Trek women's road team reflects that. I think we will see more of this happening.
W: How important do you think this investment is?
L: It's hugely important for elite and grassroots cycling. The Trek philosophy is to change lives with bicycles; as a team we will aim to inspire more women to ride bikes but also to change the culture of inequality at the top levels of sport.
W: Speaking of inspiration, Le Course was incredible this year. The showdown between Annemiek van Vleuten and fellow Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen on the Col de la Colombiere was the most exciting finish of the season. After so much widespread support from fans and sponsors, do you think we could see a women's Tour de France for 2019?
L: It was an incredible race to watch and a superb advert for our sport. I dont think we will see a Tour de France for women within a year, but I am optimistic that we will in the future.
W: We can only hope! Speaking of Le Tour - who will win the mens race this year?
L: Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas I hope.
W: Our money is on G! Were sure you must be bored of the pregnancy questions by now, but... are you still riding your Wattbike?
L: I haven't had too many, I think people are too scared to ask! Yes, I'm still riding my Wattbike, I've been using it a lot recently to avoid riding in the heat outside. The position on my Wattbike is also really easy to change, so as my bump grows I will use it more and more.
W: Thanks for your time Lizzie!
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