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VN news ticker: Deignan targets May comeback after childbirth; Froome, Thomas, Yates to Down Under

Here's the news making headlines on Saturday, December 17.

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Lizzie Deignan targets May comeback after giving birth to second child

Former world and Paris-Roubaix champion Lizzie Deignan is aiming to return to racing in May after recently giving birth to her second child.

“Conservative plan is to start racing in May so no Roubaix next year … but you never know April is a few months off,” Deignan wrote in an Instagram Q&A session.

Deignan, who turns 34 on Sunday, gave birth to her second child in late September.

After riding through much of her pregnancy,  Deignan soon got back into the saddle this autumn as she looks to resume her racing career with Trek-Segafredo. She last competed with the Women’s WorldTour team at the OVO Women’s Tour in October 2021.

Deignan also took time away from the bike in 2018 after giving birth to her first child, but kicked back into form soon after her return. The Brit finished top-10 in the 2019 Liège-Bastogne-Liège in her third race back and went on to win the OVO Women’s Tour overall a few months later.

Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Simon Yates to race Santos Tour Down Under

Froome will be one of four grand tour champions at the Tour Down Under. (Photo: Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech), Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) join Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) to make four grand tour winners booked in for the Santos Tour Down Under next month.

Froome, Thomas, and Yates were recently confirmed to be starting the Aussie race on January 17 in what will be its first edition since 2020.

The Tour Down Under will see Froome entering a new chapter with Israel-Premier Tech as it starts life in the ProTeam division. The Israeli team was relegated out of the WorldTour this winter, along with Lotto-Soudal.

“The race has changed a lot since I was there in 2010, getting bigger and better each year, to now be one of the most important races on the cycling calendar,” Froome said.

“I know the Aussie fans are some of the best in the world so I can’t wait to be back on their home soil and have them cheer us on. We have a strong team and I think we can hit the ground running with some great results at the Santos Tour Down Under.”

Thomas is expected to be part of a youthful Ineos team including Ethan and Leo Hayter, and Australian wunderkind Luke Plapp.

“I can’t wait to get down there in the heat of Adelaide, which has some great roads for training, and I’m looking forward to starting my year there,” Thomas said.

“The Ineos Grenadiers have got a strong line-up; a lot of good young guys and a local hero in ‘Plappy’ as well, so we’ll look to race aggressively and try to get as much as we can out of it.”