Philip Deignan of Team Sky set for role in Giro d’Italia

Donegal rider will line out alongside Irish riders Nicolas Roche and Dan Martin

 Philip Deignan is 19th overall heading into  final leg of Giro del Trentino. Photograph: Inpho

Philip Deignan is 19th overall heading into final leg of Giro del Trentino. Photograph: Inpho


The number of Irish riders to compete in the next month’s Giro d’Italia has increased to three, with Team Sky confirming yesterday Philip Deignan will be part of its squad.

Deignan won a stage and finished ninth overall in the 2009 Vuelta a España, and had been tipped to be part of Sky’s lineup for the three week event. However this became uncertain when he crashed while training in mid February and fractured his collarbone. Deignan returned to competition last month and he has been riding well in the Giro del Trentino this week.

His Sky squad finished third on Tuesday in the opening team time trial, then Deignan finished 32nd and 17th in the next two stages. He is 19th overall heading into today’s final leg, two minutes 28 seconds behind the leader Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team).

Deignan will line out in the Giro alongside two other Irish riders; Tinkoff Saxo’s Nicolas Roche will be one of the leaders of his team, while Dan Martin will be at the head of the Garmin-Sharp squad for the race. The latter showed excellent form this week when he finished second in the Flèche Wallonne Classic in Belgium. Beaten only by Alejandro Valverde, who was better placed starting the climb, Martin knows he is close to peak condition for Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic.

The 27-year-old Irishman won the event last year and is determined to try to do so again. After that, he will turn his focus to the Giro d’Italia, which begins in Belfast on May 9th and will spend a total of three days either north or south of the border. It will give him a very rare opportunity to ride a Grand Tour in front of home supporters. Also rolling out here in May is the An Post Rás, and a further two teams have been announced for the world-ranked race. The international lineup has been completed by the addition of the Italian Team Idea squad and the Britain National team, increasing the number of pro and international teams to 15.

Strong line-up
The first of those will include Christian Delle Stelle, Mirko Tedeschi, Matteo Collodel, Ricardo Pichetta and Alessandro Pettit and, according to manager Omar Piscina, it is the strongest representation from the team’s roster.

Delle Stelle and Collodel have taken victories this season, with the former taking the 1.2-ranked GP Izola Butan Plin and the 1.12 Trofeo Balestra, as well as netting second at the 1.1 GP Nobili. Collodel won the 1.12-ranked Trofeo Fumagalli and finished second in the Trofeo Balestra.

The final line-up of the British team is yet to be named, with injury to several riders prompting manager Keith Lambert to delay his decision. However he said three riders who have escaped injury are likely to take part; Jon Dibben, who won a stage in last year’s Tryptique Mont & Chateaux (2.2) race, 2013 junior national champion Chris Lawless and the under-23 rider Germain Burton.

An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly team for Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic (1.2) – Sunday: Sean Downey (IRL), Conor Dunne (IRL), Ryan Mullen (IRL), Mark McNally (GB), Aaron Gate (NZ), Shane Archbold (NZ).

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