Elizabeth Mary Deignan (née Armitstead; born 18th December 1988) is an English professional world champion track and road racing cyclist. She was the 2015 World road race champion and the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race champion. Deignan is also a twice winner of the season-long UCI Women's Road World Cup, winning the overall competition in 2014 and the final edition in 2015. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Deignan won the silver medal in the road race. She has won the British National Road Race Championships four times, in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Prior to her road career, Deignan won a total of five medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2009 and 2010, including a gold medal in team pursuit in 2009 with Joanna Rowsell and Wendy Houvenaghel.
Deignan won a silver medal in the scratch race at the Junior World Track Championships in 2005, she was under-23 European Scratch Race Champion in 2007 and 2008, and came second in the Points Race in 2007. In the 2008–09 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics, she took a total of seven gold medals after competing in three of the five meetings
Deignan was a member of the gold medal winning team pursuit squad at the 2009 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. She also competed in the scratch race to claim the silver medal. She completed the championships with a full set of medals, winning bronze in the points race.
Alongside her breakthrough in the velodrome, Deignan was also making progress in road racing: in 2008 she was part of the team which delivered Nicole Cooke to the road race gold at the World Championships in Varese, Italy, and the following year she joined the Lotto–Belisol Ladiesteam cycling team and rode a number of top level road races. She won the under 23 category of the British National Road Race Championships and the silver medal in the senior category after some controversy. That season she also took a stage of the Tour de l'Ardèche and won the youth classification of the Giro d'Italia. During the winter of 2009–10, Deignan returned to the track, taking two golds at the Manchester round of the 2009–10 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics and two silvers at the 2010 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. In 2010, she rode for Cervélo TestTeam. That year she won three more stages of the Tour de l'Ardèche and a silver medal in the road race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Following the discontinuation of the Garmin–Cervélo women's team, Deignan rode for the AA Drink–leontien.nl team in 2012. Deignan built the whole of her campaign around the 2012 Summer Olympics, taking spring classics wins at the Omloop van het Hageland and Gent–Wevelgem: at the Games themselves, she would go on to win the silver medal in the road race at the Olympics, behind Marianne Vos, in so becoming the first Briton to win a medal at the 2012 Games.
Deignan signed for the Boels–Dolmans team for the 2013 season. Even with her well documented medical concerns, Deignan emerged victorious at the British National Road Race Championships in Glasgow – claiming her second white, red and blue jersey.
In April 2014 it was announced that Deignan had renewed her contract with Boels–Dolmans until the end of 2016. Deignan enjoyed a career-best year, starting with a win at the Omloop van het Hageland. A week later she also won the first World Cup race of the season, the Ronde van Drenthe, after team mate Ellen van Dijk closed a significant gap for her in the final kilometres of the race. At the third World Cup race, the Tour of Flanders, she finished second behind van Dijk. Deignan took part in the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France in Paris on 27 July 2014, but crashed with 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) to the finish. A week later she won the women's road race at the Commonwealth Games. Armitstead, overhauled Emma Pooley with 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) to go to win her first major gold medal. Deignan won the UCI Women's Road World Cup with a race to spare on 24 August 2014. An 8th-place finish in the Open de Suede Vargarda was enough to secure the overall title.
For the 2015 season, Deignan stated again her intention to build towards the UCI Road World Championships. She claimed the first overall win of her career taking the Ladies Tour of Qatar stage race, as well as winning two stages. Deignan then went on to take victories at the one day World Cup races Trofeo Alfredo Binda and the Philadelphia Cycling Classic, along with the Boels Rental Hills Classic.
In June, Deignan was forced to pull out of The Women's Tour after colliding with a group of photographers seconds after winning the first stage of the tour in Suffolk. However, ten days later she had recovered sufficiently to win convincingly the British National Road Race Championships for the third time taking her to the top of the UCI world rankings. In August, she sprinted to victory in the final World Cup race of the season, the GP de Plouay, to retain her World Cup title ahead of her main challenger, Anna van der Breggen.
To cap her best season to date, on 26 September, Deignan won the World Championships road race in Richmond, Virginia, USA, beating van der Breggen in a sprint from a small group of nine riders at the finish line, becoming the fourth British woman to win the world road race title after Beryl Burton, Mandy Jones and Nicole Cooke.
Deignan's stated aim for the 2016 season was the road race at the 2016 Olympic Games, and she started the season as she had finished off the previous one, securing a number of one day race wins, as well as a General classification victory, breaking any curse of the rainbow jersey. Deignan took four victories in the inaugural UCI Women's World Tour; Strade Bianche, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Tour of Flanders and the overall title at The Women's Tour. Deignan also took victories in the Boels Rental Hills Classic and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Finishing second at the Ardennes classics to team-mate van der Breggen in the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. She subsequently took her first win of the season on home ground at the Tour de Yorkshire in April, crossing the line solo almost a minute ahead of her nearest rivals. She took another solo win at the British National Championships on the Isle of Man in June, attacking from a small group with two laps of the 6.7-kilometre (4.2-mile) finishing circuit remaining alongside Katie Archibald and Hannah Barnes: the trio caught and passed race leader Elinor Barker with 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) to go, with Deignan breaking away immediately afterwards to take her fourth senior national road race title.
The following month she finished second at La Course by Le Tour de France, finishing behind winner Annemiek van Vleuten on the Col d'Izoard. In August she took her first World Tour win of the season at the GP de Plouay – Bretagne, breaking away from rivals alongside Pauline Ferrand-Prévot on the final climb, before outsprinting Ferrand-Prévot to cross the finish line first. She became the third woman to win the race twice, alongside Vos and Pooley.