Deignan believes he deserves selection for Irish world road race championship squad
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Deignan believes he deserves selection for Irish world road race championship squad

by Shane Stokes at 10:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
“I really feel this year that the circuit is good for me”

Philip DeignanCurrently riding strongly in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, Philip Deignan has said that he feels he deserves a place on Ireland’s four man team for the world road race championships.

Deignan last rode the worlds back in 2009, the year he won a stage of the Vuelta a España and was ninth overall. He finished fortieth in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He has had a quiet three seasons since then, albeit with some scattered decent results, but has returned to strong form this season.

“To be honest, I would be pretty disappointed if I wasn’t selected,” the UnitedHealthcare rider told VeloNation. “I think I have shown this year that I am climbing very well, and the worlds circuit also suits me.

“In the past, if the circuit hasn’t suited me for the worlds for the national team, I have kind of put my hand up and said that was the case. I have always been okay with other guys going ahead of me.”

“But I really feel this year that the circuit is good for me and I can do something to help Dan [Martin] and Nico [Roche] in the race. So I would really like to go, and I would be disappointed if I wasn’t selected.”

Deignan’s form suggests that he could be an important third option rather than just a helper to Martin and Roche, although his speciality is on longer climbs than will be found on the Firenze circuit.

He won the Tour of the Gila this year and also placed second in the Tour de Beauce, sixth in the Tour of Utah and ninth in the Tour of California. He’s currently competing in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and is showing signs of good form.

He told VeloNation prior to the race start that he believed he was potentially in his best condition of the season.

Ireland has secured four places for the worlds due to the points accumulated by Martin and Roche this year. The WorldTour duo are seen as a certainty to take part, leaving two further places to fill.

While Cycling Ireland is yet to comment on the matter, it seems logical to believe that Deignan will take one of those slots.

That would leave one more to fill, with national champion Matt Brammeier arguably the best positioned due to his participation in many high level races this season with the Champion System team.

Others such as Connor McConvey (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) and Ronan McLaughlin (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) will also hope to be considered for the fourth slot.

Providing he is given the nod, Deignan believes that his post-Colorado programme should get him to the race in strong shape.

“I’ll do the USA Pro Challenge and then I stay for altitude for a further ten days,” he said. “After that I go to Philadelphia for a 1.2 race two weeks later. Then the week afterwards, I will do the Tour of Britain. So it should be a fairly good build-up to the worlds.”

His strong year sees him tipped to move back up to the WorldTour level next year. He’s rumoured to be on the wish list of the Sky team, although that squad and his agent Andrew McQuaid have declined to confirm that a deal has been agreed.

Deignan is sitting 46 seconds of the race in the USA Pro Challenge. The 2.HC event continues later today with a 170.4 kilometre stage to Steamboat Springs.

The Donegal rider has said that he believes tomorrow’s fourth stage and Friday’s time trial will be the biggest determinants of the final general classification.

Also see: Philip Deignan Interview: Irishman ready to rumble at the USA Pro Challenge


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