Deignan forced to sacrifice chances for Team Sky lost cause

Posted on: May 18th, 2017

Deignan forced to sacrifice chances for Team Sky lost cause

Deignan forced to sacrifice chances for Team Sky lost cause

Philip Deignan was up the road yesterday but ended the stage pacing the already hopeless challenge of crash victim Geraint Thomas.


Philip Deignan showed himself off the front of the Giro d’Italia yesterday on a stage where is team hit out but came up short.

The Donegal man broken clear in a large escape that also saw team mate Mikel Landa move clear.

They were part of a large group of over 20 riders that pulled clear on the first climb of the day

Landa would then spend much of the stage off the front of that group with eventual stage winner Omar Fraile (Dimension Data).

They were caught only for Fraile to press ahead again in another group to win the stage while Landa exploded and lost a huge amount of time.

Having been injured in the police moto crash on the road to Blockhaus, Landa simply ran out of reserves in the closing stages yesterday.

And when another Team Sky who came down in that crash, Geraint Thomas, struggled in the closing stages yesterday, Deignan was called into action to pace him in a bid to limit losses.

It was a frustrating scenario for Irish fans to watch and one feels Deignan has the form to take a result given his form.

Despite Deignan’s efforts Thomas lost time yesterday and dropped three placings in the general standings.

Thomas was dropped from the favourites group on the Mount Fumaiolo final ascent of the day.

And though he and Deignan, who went back to rescue him, tried to get back on on the descent into Bagno di Romagna they never made it.

The Donegal man and his Welsh colleague finished in a 10-man group 2:25 down on stage winner Fraile.

More significantly, they were 48 seconds down in the group containing race leader Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and the main race favourites.

That leaves Thomas 14th overall, some 6:21 off the race lead. And Landa, who was clear with eventual stage winner Fraile for much of yesterday’s stage, suffered even worse in the closing stages yesterday.

He would fade badly and lose 13:26 on the day, sending him nine places lower to 51st overall.

It means Deignan is now in an unenviable position; limited by team duties but riding for two team leaders whose chances have been wiped out by that Blockhaus crash.

Team Sky has indicated that both Landa and Thomas will continue in the race.

However, it also seems possible they may decide to abandon and regroup for a tilt at the Tour de France where Chris Froome will be team leader.

That eventuality, if it came to pass, would at least leave Deignan free to go for a personal result on this race. But it remains to be seen if that opportunity comes his way.