By Shane Stokes in Palermo
AG2R La Mondiale professional Philip Deignan is lining up in the Giro d'Italia this weekend aiming for a decent performance in the overall classification. He showed solid form in the recent Giro del Trentino, finishing 20th on the 178.6 kilometre mountain leg to Peio Terme and placing 26th overall there.
"I'd love to go for a top 30 in the general classification," he told Cyclingnews on Friday. "I will find out pretty soon if that is not possible, I am not going to ride flat out every day just to finish 40th or 50th overall. If I can't finish in the top 30, I will try to go for a stage win."
Deignan missed out on a lot of racing last year due to injury but bounced back to place tenth, twelfth and sixteenth on mountain stages of the Tour of Spain, his Grand Tour debut. Now 24 years of age, he's come into decent form after a slow start to the season.
"I think I might have over-done it over the winter," he said, when asked why the early races proved so tough. "That is really the only explanation I have for it. I did a good winter, looking after myself, but I just felt really tired all the time when it came to the races. It just felt like I had nothing my legs.
"Then I got sick with a vomiting bug in Paris-Nice. I was dead for a week, lying on the couch, and then I was sent straight to a stage race in Italy. I wasn't really ready to do that, and then the team sent me straight from there to Pays-Basques. In those races, if you are not 100% you dont have a chance.
"Anyway, I had a good break after the Tour of Pays Basques and felt like I was coming around a little bit. In Trentino I was going a lot better, so hopefully I should be better again for the Giro.