Team Sky sign Irish cyclist

Team Sky have signed Irish rider Philip Deignan for the 2014 season.

Team Sky sign Irish cyclist

Team Sky have signed Irish rider Philip Deignan for the 2014 season.

Deignan has this year been in his second campaign with UnitedHealthcare, which has seen him win the Tour of the Gila, finish runner-up at the Tour de Beauce and claim top-10 finishes at the Tours of Utah and California and the USA Pro Challenge.

The 29-year-old from County Donegal has also been with RadioShack, Cervelo TestTeam and AG2R Prevoyance, winning the 2005 Tour du Doubs as one of their riders in his maiden professional season.

He sealed his first Grand Tour stage win at the 2009 Vuelta a Espana, in which he finished ninth overall.

On the prospect of becoming the first Irish Team Sky rider, Deignan said: “I’m really excited to get the opportunity to race for the biggest team in the world and to be able to ride for some of the best riders in the world.

“It’s going to be a big challenge but I’m really looking forward to it.

“It’s a fantastic team where nothing is left to chance with the coaching and the diet – which will really suit the type of rider that I am. Team Sky will offer me the kind of environment I need to be in to help me perform to the best of my ability.”

Team Sky team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Everyone at Team Sky is very excited to have Philip join us from the start of next season.

“We’re well aware of what he is capable of on a bike. He’s a climber of real quality and he will certainly strengthen our squad even further in stage race competition.

“He brings experience to the team and we believe he belongs at this level. It’s great to finally have an Irish rider on our roster and I’m certain that under our coaches and performance staff there is a lot more to come from Philip.”

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