Cycling - Deignan signs for Team Sky

Team Sky have announced they have secured the signing of Irish rider Philip Deignan for the 2014 season.

The talented rider has enjoyed a successful second season with the UnitedHealthcare team where he managed to win the Tour of the Gila, finish second at the Tour de Beauce as well as claim top 10 finished at the Tours of California, Utah and the USA Pro Challenge.

These successes saw him catch the eye of a number of cycling teams, with the 29-year-old securing a deal with Team Sky for the upcoming season.

The County Donegal-born rider is strongest in the mountains and his hugely impressive team ethic is sure to make him one of Team Sky’s most valued climbing assets, though a proven track record in some of the sport’s most challenging races could mean he is more than capable of challenging for honours himself.

“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,” said Deignan.

“I spent a few years in the WorldTour before moving over to America for two great seasons racing with UnitedHealthcare, who I really must thank for such great support both on and off the bike over the past two seasons. I now feel like I’m at the level where I can race in the WorldTour in Europe so when I got the opportunity to head back there with Team Sky it was hard to resist.”

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.