Hushovd expects good things from Deignan in 2010
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hushovd expects good things from Deignan in 2010

by Conal Andrews at 7:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Irish rider Philip Deignan has been tipped for a big future by his Cervélo Test Team stablemate Thor Hushovd. The Norwegian, who won the Green Jersey in last year’s Tour de France, was able to see his Irish team-mate’s development during the 2009 season and was impressed by his rate of progress.

Deignan’s season highlight was a stage win and ninth place overall in the Vuelta a España and this tells Hushovd that he should be able to step it up a level in the months ahead.

“I think Philip is a great rider…we have seen just a part of his big potential,” he told Irishcycling.com.

“He won a stage and finishing in the top ten in the Vuelta, so that is a really great result. I hope we will see him ride well in the Ardennes Classics in Spring [Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège], and then for the general classification in the big races. He is a really good rider who still has more potential in his body.”

Deignan showed an excellent climbing ability as an amateur rider and took several good pro results during four years with the Ag2r La Mondiale team. However his progression was stunted by several episodes of illness and injury, and so a good 2009 season was very welcome.

Deignan hopes to make his Tour de France debut this July. He is likely to back team leader Carlos Sastre in the race, even if the Spaniard has not yet confirmed that he will be taking part.

The Irishman’s Vuelta stage win ended a long drought at the very top level of the sport. Stephen Roche was the last to win a Grand Tour stage, doing so way back in the 1992 Tour de France. Roche was also the last to finish in the top ten of a three week race, doing so in the 1993 Giro d’Italia.

Deignan, Hushovd and the rest of the Cervélo Test Team are currently at a training camp in Portugal.

Velonation readers can see the latest diary update from the 26 year old elsewhere on this site.

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