Philip Deignan is confident he will soon secure a contract for next season following the sudden collapse of his current team, Cervélo Test Team, last month. The Irish rider, who is recovering from a virus which forced him to withdraw from the Vuelta a España on stage 11, told Cyclingnews he is focussed on finding stability as he turns his attention to next season.
"My season's over now, so I just need to focus on getting healthy again and start to prepare for next year. I'm still speaking to a couple of teams and hope to get something signed in the next week or so," Deignan said. "It's been pretty positive with the two or three teams I've been speaking to so it looks good to sign something soon."
Deignan wouldn't be drawn on the identities of the teams he has spoken with, though he did indicate that at least one of the teams is a ProTour squad. He admitted that Sky had approached him last season, however the British team doesn't figure in his current list of options.
"It's true, I had been speaking with Sky at the end of last year after the Vuelta, but I haven't been speaking with them this year," said the 27-year-old, who is based in Girona, Spain during the season and began his professional career with French outfit Ag2r Prévoyance in 2005.
"I don't have any problem with the nationality of a team as long as it's a team where I know I'll get a good race programme and good support,” he said. “Obviously they're the most important things to me; that it's a well structured team with a good race programme."
Confident Cervélo dust will settle
At the end of 2009 Deignan had agreed to remain with Cervélo until at least the end of next season. The imminent withdrawal of the team from the peloton has left that contract in limbo, but Deignan would rather focus on matters on the bike than off.
"It's in the hands of my manager now and I'm sure he'll sort it out. I had a contract with them until the end of 2011 so you'd think they would be obliged to pay me, but I don't know, it goes under Swiss law so we'll just have to see. At the moment I'm just focussing on trying to get better again and get healthy for next year; I'll let my manager worry about that stuff."
The sudden nature of Cervélo's demise a fortnight ago left the vast majority of team's riders and staff with limited opportunity to secure employment for next year. Despite the precarious situation, Deignan is confident the team's achievements throughout their two years of operation will serve as a solid reference for those on the hunt for new teams.
"I'm talking to most of the guys. It was unfortunate that we were all told so late on in the season, but I think the team proved itself in the past two years, that we're all good riders and we deserve a place on another team," he said. "Most if not all the guys are speaking with teams at the moment so I think everybody should be able to get something."
With Deignan likely to confirm his own future in the coming weeks he will remain off the bike and recover fully from his virus before beginning his preparations for 2011. His goal will be to recapture the form that saw him win his first Grand Tour stage win at the Vuelta a España in 2009.
"I've just been resting since I left this year's Vuelta," he said "I'm going to go and have some more tests next week to determine where we're at now, but I think if I have two or three weeks off the bike I should be feeling a lot better afterwards.
"It's difficult to say what my race programme's going to be next year but I just want to get back to my proper level again, similar to last year,” he added. “Once I know my race programme for next year I'll be able to work out my goals whatever races they may be, but the main aim is just to get back up to my level again, get healthy and be able to show what I can do."