Co. Donegal-born Philip Deignan will be on hand to guide Team Sky’s new crop of youngsters as he enters his fifth year with the successful British cycling outfit.
The experienced Irishman enjoyed a strong 2017 and is hoping for more of the same in 2018, while keeping an eye on the youthful recruits within the squad:
“I think it’s quite a steep learning curve for the new guys that are arriving and they have a lot to take in. Sometimes it might take them a couple of years for them to find their feet. For the first year it’s all about concentrating on the basics for them, training right, getting their nutrition right and finding what kind of rider they are in the peloton.
“Also to get a good training environment, whether it means moving to Nice or to Girona to have that real home environment where you’re training, and you can have a real support network, train well and focus on your cycling.”
A veteran of 10 Grand Tours, the 34 year old has his eye on racing in the Giro for the third consecutive year and will look to support the team’s leaders across the campaign:
“I don’t think my role in the team has really changed since I joined the team in 2014. I came as a support rider and I’ve been concentrating on that – going to the bigger stage races with the big leaders to support them as best I can.”
In discussing person ambitions for the coming season, the Letterkenny man said:
“I’ve gathered up a lot of experience over the past four years with the team, but I still see myself as a support rider and that hasn’t really changed too much. I would say my goals for the year will be the Giro to go and support Froomey to go for the win there.”