Philip Deignan Interview - Part 1
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.
because there's always been a reason why you haven't been able to be up there at the front. This past year has showed me that I can compete and that has just changed me completely. I have a lot more self belief now than I had before. You just have to be patient with these things and just wait till these things pass. I almost ran out of patience at one stage, but luckily I just kept the head down so I'm here now today.
What do you consider to be the main differences between your previous team AG2R and Cervelo TestTeam?
AG2R is a French team with a lot of French traditions and you speak French all the time. AG2R wasn't a bad team. I think a lot of French teams have got a reputation for being backwards and not training properly. But I don't think that's the case. The reason why I wasn't performing wasn't because I was with AG2R it was because of different things as well. I got on great with the riders and all the staff there, but I felt like I needed a change. I was there for four years and when I signed with the team they had a lot of belief in me as well because I signed as neo-pro and then resigned a three year contract at the end of my first year. So they had a lot of faith in me. When I look back at my time there I had a lot of bad moments but I enjoyed working with the people there.
Did you learn a lot while being with Team AG2R?
Yeah. Every year you ride you learn something new. I think even the guy who has been pro for 10 years is going to learn something new each year anyway. You learn a lot about the races, how to recover, how to train and how to eat.
Is it your impression that French teams are more traditional than teams from other countries?
I think in the past few years they've definitely changed a lot. They are working a lot more with the scientific side and parameters now. I think it is a little bit of a stereotype that they are a little bit far behind when it comes to training techniques and all, which I do not necessarily think is true. I think they've improved a lot in the past few years. I think what is still a bit wrong is the attitude of "Everybody else is doping except the French." They might have had that excuse ten years ago, but I think now we're all in a level playing field.
So what you are saying is that French riders in general tend to believe that they are better and cleaner than riders from other countries?
Yeah, they feel that maybe some countries aren't as strict as they are and that they themselves are all riding clean and they have the impression that riders from other countries are not. They have that little bit of a negative side.