Philip Deignan Interview - Part 2
Roadcycling.com's Thomas A. Valentinsen talks with Cervelo TestTeam's Philip Deignan in Algarve, Portugal about riding for Cervelo TestTeam, his preparations and goals for the 2010 season, about almost quitting cycling, and about escaping to Europe without telling your parents.
your time trial limitations the reason why you're currently working on improving your core strength in the gym?
Yeah well, it's not just for time trialing but for ever part of road racing. It's something that I never really use to focus on. I didn't think it was important in the past, but I've spoken to a few people about it and it's something I should have worked on in the past. Strengthening the core, which is the abdominal muscles, the lower back and the shoulders a bit, stops you from moving around on your bike and causes all the power to go directly to the pedals. I'll try to continue this core stability training about three times a week if I can during the season. I'm using a Swiss ball and have like five or six exercises that I can do at home. When I was back in Ireland I was working with the Northern Ireland Sports Institute, which gave me a few different exercises to do also.
Do you view your focus on one-week races as a stepping stone towards future GC ambitions in the grand tours such as the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia?
Before the 2009 season I would have said no, because I always had three or four bad days in three week tours where I had to go groupetto and lost a lot of time, but the 2009 season kind of opened my eyes a bit. Finishing 9 th overall in the 2009 Vuelta a Espana has made me think that maybe I can do it, but in this team of course Carlos (Sastre) is the number one guy, so if I take part in any three week Tour it will be to help him obtain additional successes. So at the moment I'm not thinking about my own grand tour ambitions, but I'm 26 now so I think it will take quite a few years to build up the needed strength. Who knows - perhaps I'll get to see what I can do in a three week tour in 2012. The Tour (de France) is obviously the greatest bike race in the world, so if I could choose one I would choose the Tour (de France). My success in stage 18 of the 2009 Vuelta and the GC has definitely made me look at stage races in a different way than I did before.
Motorsport and rally are two of your hobbies so you obviously enjoy adrenaline kicks and action. Are your parents happy that you chose cycling over motorsport and how did they react to your decision to become a pro cyclist?
They did not have a lot of knowledge about cycling to start with, so when I first told them that I wanted to go to France and cycle they didn't really understand because they obviously wanted me to go to university. You know for a time they actually thought I was still in university, but I was in France racing. So for like a month I was racing in France and