Philip Deignan signs for Team Sky for 2014 season from UnitedHealthcare
Last Updated: 06/09/13 11:08am
Philip Deignan has been signed to bolster Team Sky's climbing at stage races
Team Sky have confirmed the signing of former Vuelta a Espana stage winner Philip Deignan for the 2014 season.
The 29-year-old Irishman will join from UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis after a strong 2013 campaign in which he has won the Tour of the Gila in the United States and finished second at the Tour de Beauce in Canada.
Deignan previously rode for Ag2r-La Mondiale, Cervelo Test Team and RadioShack, and enjoyed the high-point of his career when he won stage 17 of the 2009 Vuelta, a race in which he finished ninth overall.
The climbing specialist now returns to WorldTour level and believes Team Sky will get the best out of him.
"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," the County Donegal rider said. "It is going to be a big challenge but I'm really looking forward to it.
"It is 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.
"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."
"He brings experience to the team and we believe he belongs at this level."
Sir Dave Brailsford
Deignan is Team Sky's second confirmed signing for the new season after Australia's Nathan Earle, and team principal Sir Dave Brailsford is confident he can aid the squad's challenge in stage races next year.
"Everyone at Team Sky is very excited to have Philip join us from the start of next season," he said.
"We are well aware of what he is capable of on a bike. He is 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 is 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."