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Deignan targets 2019 glory on Yorkshire's roads

Lizzie Deignan says her career isn't over yet Credit: Press Association

Lizzie Deignan is far from finished.

The former world champion, known as Armitstead until her marriage to fellow cyclist Phil Deignan last September, is targeting the Road World Championships in her native Yorkshire in 2019.

That could be the swansong for the 28-year-old Otley racer, who had raised the prospect of retirement previously but now wants to go on at least until Yorkshire becomes the global focal point for world cycling once again.

"I'll take each season as it comes, but yes, it's definitely an enticing opportunity," Deignan said.

"When I actually think about the reality of the championship day, how massive that will be in Yorkshire... it will just be so big. The atmosphere, the opportunity there.

"If I was sitting on the couch watching it, I think I'd regret it."

Deignan has had a career with several high points Credit: Press Association

Deignan has no regrets about her career to date, nor over her successful challenge over three missed drugs tests which left her facing a two-year ban.

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.

Some say her reputation is forever tarnished, that the world title won in Richmond, Virginia in September 2015, should come with an asterisk.

Lizzie could call time on her career following the 2019 Road World Championships in Yorkshire Credit: Press Association

Others point to the mitigating circumstances - she reveals in her autobiography Steadfast that her third 'whereabouts failure' came when she was in Ireland as her future father in law had terminal cancer - and point to the fact she has never tested positive for drugs.

Deignan is aware of the damage to her reputation, but says it matters not.

"I'm not too concerned about it," she added.

"As long as I'm doing what I want to do and I'm passionate about, and riding my bike for the very reasons that I started riding my bike, then I suppose the other stuff will take care of itself."

Lizzie with her silver medal won at the London 2012 Olympic games Credit: Press Association

Deignan was Britain's first medal winner of the glorious summer of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

She claimed silver on The Mall in a gripping road race and had hoped to upgrade her place on the podium four years later.

Asked whether now she might consider continuing until Tokyo 2020, she said: "Never say never, but I'd always envisaged that Rio would be my last Olympics."

Olympic gold may prove elusive, but Deignan is targeting at least one more world title before she hangs up her cycling cleats, with September's Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway and the Yorkshire event two years later likely to take place on routes which suit her characteristics.

"If it came in Yorkshire, that'd be nice, but Norway would be nice too," she added.