Donegal’s Philip Deignan says he can’t wait for the Giro d’Italia to get going.

The Team Sky rider recalled watching the Tour de France in Dublin in 1998 as a youngster and admits he finds it hard to believe he is part of the second most prestigious date on the cycling calendar, which gets under way on Friday.

“It’s going to be massive for me personally,” he told RTÉ Sport.

“I remember as a young kid starting off cycling, I went down to watch the Tour [de France] in 1998 in Dublin and I never really imagined I’d get the opportunity to start a Grand Tour myself.

“So for it to come full circle now like this it’s going to be really special for me.”

However, the 30-year-old also revealed that he is not at peak fitness ahead of the race.

“I got knocked off [my bike] by a car back in February while I was out training so I’m not where I’d ideally like to be at the moment. I’m probably about two or three weeks behind with only about six or seven days’ racing in my legs,” he said.