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Philip Deignan makes a welcome return to the saddle

Philip Deignan

Philip Deignan

LETTERKENNY professional cyclist Philip Deignan will make his 2016 Team Sky debut at the four day Italian stage race Settimana Coppi e Bartali which gets underway tomorrow, Thursday, March 24.

Deignan makes a welcome return from a recent elbow injury, and is joined by a strong climbing contingent in Sebastian Henao, David Lopez and Xabier Zandio. There is a young core to the squad, with neo-pros Gianni Moscon and Alex Peters both in action, alongside fellow new signing Danny van Poppel.

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The team have enjoyed success in the last two editions of Settimana Coppi e Bartali, with team mate Pete Kennaugh enjoying a breakout overall victory in 2014, with Ben Swift just three seconds off matching that same feat last season.

The racing programme continues to come thick and fast, with the team also returning to the Belgian cobbles for a pair of World Tour Classics in the form of E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem.

New team Sky signing Mikel Landa also lines up in Team Sky colours for the first time at the Italian stage race, and will use the four-day event to ease himself back into competition after a viral infection delayed the start to his season.

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