January 28, 2010
Second up in the series of season preview posts is the Ulsterman Philip Deignan. He truly announced himself to the cycling world by winning Stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana last September. It was Ireland’s first Grand Tour stage win since 1992 and first Vuelta stage win since 1988 when Seán Kelly won two stages on the way to winning the overall title. On top of this, Deignan also finished a fantastic 9th overall in the Spanish tour. This was the highest of any rider on his own team and higher than seasoned Grand Tour perfomers such as Juan José Cobo and Haimar Zubeldia. Last year he also rode the Giro d’Italia and acted as a domestique for team leader Carlos Sastre who won two stages and finished 3rd overall. His other notable performances last year were finishing 7th in the Vuelta Castilla y Leon, 10th in the Vuelta a Burgos and 12th in the Tour of Ireland. So how can Deignan improve on these results over the coming year?