LETTERKENNY cyclist Philip Deignan has been named on the Sky squad for the 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Apeldoorn, Holland on Friday and concludes in Turin on Sunday 29 May.
Team Sky’s bid for the pink jersey will be led by Mikel Landa, with Ian Boswell, Philip Deignan, Sebastian Henao, Christian Knees, David Lopez, Nicolas Roche, Mikel Nieve and home favourite Elia Viviani joining him in the nine-man squad.
Now in his 12th year as a pro, Philip has amassed an enviable stage race record and will be making his ninth Grand Tour appearance at the Giro d’Italia. His career highlight came on the 18th stage of the 2009 Vuelta a Espana when he battled to a hard-fought win, and that result helped him claim a top-10 overall finish in the process.
Since then the climbing specialist has achieved further victories at the Tours of the Gila, California, Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge, and his experience will be a key attribute over the three weeks of action.
Reflecting on the season so far ahead of the Giro d’Italia, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford, said:”This has been our best ever start to the year.”
“We have really demonstrated the strength in depth we have at Team Sky. We’ve performed well in stage racing and I’m particularly pleased that we showed real progression in the Classics, culminating in our long awaited first Monument win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege”.
Brailsford added that the team was going into the first Grand Tour of the year “full of confidence”.
“Mikel Landa will lead our Giro d’Italia team. He has fitted in to the team brilliantly and is coming into top form just at the right time. He will be supported by a strong, experienced and fully committed group of riders around him.