Deignan delighted with hard-fought victory over Kreuziger

Philip Deignan, Daniel Martin Vuelta a Espana 2009, stage 16

When asked in a winner’s press conference how he felt about taking Ireland’s first Vuelta stage win in 21 years, Philip Deignan (Cervélo) admitted freely “it’s going to take a while to sink in!”

That’s logical, given Deignan’s stage 18 win came against a much better-known rival, Roman Kreuziger, the up-and-coming Liquigas rider who led his team in the Tour de France and who has already won the Tours of Romandie and Switzerland. Deignan’s biggest and only previous win was in the Tour de Doubs back in 2005.

But it was the Irishman who raised his arms in triumph in Avila after getting into the break of the day and then powering away with Kreuziger on the fast run-in towards the finish town.

“I saw he was the strongest in the break, and that’s why I went with him when he attacked after the last climb,” the 26-year-old Deignan said.

“In the team meeting this morning, we agreed I should go in the break because I was quite a way down overall and thought that the other teams wouldn’t mind.”

Four and a half hours later, Deignan found himself facing Kreuziger in a battle for the biggest prize of his career.

“I was really nervous,” Deignan said. “I’ve only been in that sort of situation a couple of times and I was waiting for him to attack.”

“But on the cobbled sections leading up into the town he didn’t make a move, which surprised me a lot. He couldn’t have had the legs.”

With Cervelo team leader and locally-born Carlos Sastre watching from the TV commentators' box, the 26-year-old said his victory was a great step forward in a career which has been dogged by illness and injury.

“It’ll do a lot for my self-confidence from now on,” Deignan said, “I feel proud of what I’ve done.”

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Cycling Weekly's Rider Profiles: Index

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Stage reports

Stage 18: Deignan takes Ireland's first Vuelta stage win in 21 years

Stage 17: Roux takes solo win

Stage 16: Greipel storms to third win

Stage 15: Boom solos to win

Stage 14: Valverde suffers but strengthens lead

Stage 13: Unlucky Evans loses time on rivals

Stage 12: Hesjedal wins second stage for Garmin

Stage 11: Farrar takes first grand tour victory

Stage 10: Gerrans takes breakaway victory

Stage nine: Cesar wins as Valverde leads in la Vuelta

Stage eight: Cunego takes first mountain stage of 2009 Vuelta

Stage seven: Cancellara outpaces Millar in TT

Stage six: Bozic surprises sprint rivals to take win

Stage five: Greipel wins again and takes race lead

Stage four: Greipel wins after big crash wipes out bunch

Stage three: Henderson wins stage

Stage two: Ciolek takes first road stage, Hammond third

Stage one: Cancellara wins Vuelta opener

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Photos

Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham WatsonStage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

 

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