Two-time Women’s Tour champion Lizzie Deignan has declared her support for the UK’s most prestigious cycle race as it continues to seek crucial funding for the 2023 event.

Speaking to PA news agency, the Trek – Segafredo rider described how she hopes the planned ninth edition of the award-winning UCI Women’s WorldTour event takes place in June.

She said: “It will be a huge loss in terms of the opportunity for British teams to have a stage like that to race on, but also internationally. It’s a really important race because June doesn’t have many stage races, so it’s brilliant preparation ahead of the national championships and the Tour de France.

“The way the race is run is extremely professional and it’s probably been the most professional race we’ve had on the calendar.”

Deignan will return to racing in May after having had her second child in September. The only two-time champion in Women’s Tour history (2016, 2019), the 34-year-old is hoping to hit peak form in time for the race which will feature a Queen stage in her native Yorkshire for the first time between Dalby Forest and Guisborough on Friday 9 June.

“[The Women’s Tour] is what’s been in my mind during training rides,” she said. “If it goes, I need to rethink my whole calendar.”

Video: relive Lizzie Deignan’s race-winning attack en route to Builth Wells in the 2019 edition

The race is seeking to raise funds to help cover ever-increasing organisational costs, as well as a shortfall from sponsorship income. At present, three of the race’s four prestigious jersey classifications (leader, mountains, and best young rider) remain available, while individual stage partnership packages (including naming rights) are also on offer for the first time for selected days.

Click here for more information on partnership opportunities at the Women’s Tour 2023.