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Lizzie Deignan the latest to speak about sexism at British Cycling

Martin James
31 Mar 2017

Former World Champion clarifies her position ahead of book launch

In an interview published in the Guardian over the weekend, Deignan spoke of a number of incidents that she felt indicated a long-running culture of sexism and inequality within the sport.

She was particularly critical of the differences in pay between men’s and women’s cycling, saying she had received just £2,000 for winning the World Championships in 2015 – one-tenth of what Peter Sagan got for winning the men’s race (from this year the men’s and women’s winners will get equal money).

She also revealed that on the day she won her title in Richmond, Virginia, British Cycling team manager Brian Stephens – who was acting as her coach – wasn’t even there, claiming he had prioritised the men’s junior team instead.

Deignan was speaking to the Guardian ahead of the launch of her autobiography in a few weeks’ time, in which she details other examples of sexism in the sport.

She also claims that while with the national team, women riders regularly had to borrow helmets from their male counterparts, and were told they would be banned if they didn’t return them.

Deignan’s comments are in stark contrast to those of fellow Olympian Joanna Rowsell Shand – who rode with Deignan and Wendy Houvenaghel to World Track Championships gold in the team pursuit in 2009 – who this week said she had never felt an atmosphere of sexism in British Cycling.

Following the report, Deignan released a short statement on Twitter to clarify her position.

The key part being that her book was written 'about her experiences... alone' and that she does not believe British Cycling to be sexist as an organisation.

Lizzie Deignan’s autobiography will be available on 20th April, plus look out for our own in-depth interview in the June issue of Cyclist, which hits the newsstands on 26th April.

This story was updated soon after first publication to include Deignan's clarification 

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