First year Irish professional Philip Deignan has had an encouraging start to his career, winning the Tour du Doubs at the beginning of July, placing fifth in the European road race championships one week later and generally riding well against the pros. Still just 21 years of age, the Ag2R Prévoyance rider has coped well with the transition to the paid ranks; the young Irishman took some time out of his hectic schedule to speak to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes.
Philip Deignan, from Letterkenny in Co. Donegal, secured a two-year deal with Ag2R Prevoyance after a fine run of performances last season. He won two stages plus the overall in the Ronde d'Isard World Cup stage race and also took several other high placings in the espoir series, including eighth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Indeed he could well have finished on the podium had he not been sent the wrong way while in a promising-looking break with fellow Irishman - and VC La Pomme team-mate - Nicolas Roche. Deignan took a stage of the Tour of Chablais and won the team time trial championship of France with the Marseille-based La Pomme squad.
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