Philip Deignan has continued his excellent form this season with a second place finish at the UCI 2.2-ranked six-day Tour de Beauce in Canada.
The Letterkenny native and his UnitedHealthcare teammate Lucas Euser broke clear with a group on the last stage into Quebec and finished sixth and third respectively
They came home one minute and 26 seconds clear of the field and overnight leader Francesco Mancebo of the Five hour Energy team.
Twenty-nine-year-old Deignan finished 36 seconds behind overall winner Nate Browne of the Bontrager team.
Deignan also finished third in the points classification while his UnitedHealthcare squad took the team classification.
With the Giro coming the Belfast next spring, Deignan, who won the Tour of Gila in May, is fighting to play a part.
“Obviously I’d love to ride the Giro,” he said.
“A Grand Tour spending three days in Ireland, that doesn’t happen too often. When the news first came out about it I was really excited and I’d love if circumstances permitted to be there.”
“But as far as UnitedHealthcare doing it, I don’t know what the team is planning for next year. I think the budget would need to be increased if they were to get a wildcard into the Giro.”
Deignan, who is now based between Letterkenny and Dublin, will be in action much closer to home this week at the National Elite Cycling Championships at Carlingford and Mourne, Co Louth.
The action will kick off with a 40km time trial on the evening of Thursday and Sunday will see the main event, when Ireland’s top stars line up to see who will be crowned Irish Cycling Champion.
Deignan will join Conor McIlwaine, Ronan McLaughlin and Shaun McFadden in the senior race, while Jason McHugh, BT Doherty, Charlie Gallagher and Mickey Russell will compete in the veterans’ race on Saturday.