New to the peloton: Another season and a new slice of young professional riders in the peloton. Ed Hood kept his eyes on the “young” and gives us his TOP 11 all under 22 years old.
The pros seem to be getting younger
They say you know when you get old when the cops start looking like kids. The same goes for professional cyclists, in recent years the big teams have caught up with them younger than ever. We thought we’d take a look at 11 [11 is half of 22, right?] the most promising young WorldTour recruits for 2022, although some of them have already been hired as trainees in 2021; but this is their first full WorldTour season.
Marc Brustenga – A Spanish classic
Marc Brustenga – 22 years old, Spaniard, signed with Trek Segafredo after five victories and numerous rankings, mainly in Spain but also in France where he won the Boucles de l’Essor.
The man himself says;
“For me, signing with Trek-Segafredo is a dream come true. From a very young age, my goal was to reach the top level of cycling, and now I have this possibility. I have worked hard for years to reach the WorldTour, and now that I’ve done it, it’s unreal I chose Trek-Segafredo after talking with Markel [Irizar], and he explained the project and the ideas that the team has for the next few years. I really liked the sound, and I also saw that there was a very good atmosphere within the team between the riders and the staff. It’s one of the biggest teams in the world and I hope I can learn in the races that I love the most, the Classics. With these experienced teammates, I will have this chance. My goals are to help the team, to do what they ask of me, and to have fun because it’s also important to me. Above all, I want to learn from my more experienced colleagues so that I can apply these lessons in my future. »
Filippo Baroncini – U23 World Champion
Philippe Baroncini – 21, Italy, also signed with Trek Segafredo. Baroncini is the current u23 Road Race World Champion and as a trainee with Trek Segafredo has already found his feet at Elite level with fourth place in the Coppa Sabatini behind Michael Valgreen. He is also Italian U23 time trial champion and has participated in stages of the Baby Giro and L’Etoile d’Or. Precocious certainly, but not all the amateur/u23 world champions can pass the course at the highest level, even if in recent years, the ‘conversion rate’ is good with people like Matthews, Démare, Mohorič, Cosnefroy and Hirschi all performing very well.
Ethan Veron – With the best team
Ethan Vernon – 21, UK, signed with Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl Team. Originally a prolific collector of British junior track titles and medals, his 2021 Tour de l’Avenir stage victory and U23 iTT world top 10 earned him a place in the most successful one-day team WorldTour title.
Finn Fisher-Black – From Jumbo to the UAE and only 21
Finn Fisher – Black – 21, New Zealander, signed with UAE Team Emirates; former junior world record holder in the 3,000 meter pursuit. He was part of Jumbo Visma’s development team until the end of June 2021, when the United Arab Emirates agreed a deal for him that runs until 2024, after seeing him win the stage race of the Istrian Spring Trophy in Croatia, then finish fourth in the Tour of Belgium after a very strong time trial stage where only Remco and Yves Lampaert could beat him.
Luke Plapp – Already winner in 2022
Luke Plapp – 21, Australia, signed with INEOS Grenadiers and already 2022 Australian Elite Road Race champion. He has been a trainee with INEOS since last August, but this is his first full season on the World Tour. The 2021 season saw him beat four-time national elite time trial champion Luke Durbridge to claim the iTT National title and silver at the iTT Worlds. He was also the only man who could live with Richie Porte on Willunga Hill during the 2021 Santos Festival of Cycling.
Ben Tullett – After two years at Alpecin-Fenix, on his way to INEOS Grenadiers
Ben Tullett – 20 years old, GB, signed with INEOS Grenadiers. The two-time junior cyclo-cross world champion is no stranger to high-level racing having spent two seasons in MVDP’s Alpecin Fenix Proteam. He did well on the road with results as fifth in the GC of the Tour of Antalya, 12th in the Flèche Wallonne, ninth in the GC of the Tour of Poland and eighth in the Coppa Agostoni.
Lewis Askey – Still only 20 years old
lewis askey – 20 years old, GB, signed with Groupama FDJ. Winner of Paris-Roubaix Junior 2018, Askey has been part of Marc Madiot’s development team for two years but moves to the Big Boys after a solid season with a fifth at the U23 Worlds and a hard stage victory, ‘showcase’ for the WorldTour teams, Ronde de l’Isard. We saw him at the British Road Race Championships in October where he finished fifth and second best u23 after riding in a very aggressive race.
Juan Ayuso – With UAE Team Emirates until 2025
Juan Ayuso – 19 years old, Spain, signed with UAE Team Emirates. Three stage wins and the GC in the Baby Giro in addition to victories in the Italian Under-23 Classics at the start of the season meant WorldTour teams would be knocking on his door. The UAE signed him until 2025 and he started rolling for them last June, but with 2022 as his first full season; within weeks he was on the Prueba Villafranca podium, with only the old fox, Luis Leon Sanchez able to beat him. He was on the podium at the U23 European Road Race Championships and word from the UAE training camp is that Pog is very impressed with his young teammate’s climbing skills.
Arnaud De Lie – Hope for Lotto Soudal
Arnaud DeLie – 19 years old, Belgium, signed with Lotto Soudal. Not quite Remco level, but De Lie has a good junior and u23 track record and finished third behind Colombian outfielder Alvaro Hodeg in the GP Vermarc at full pro level. A stage and GC win at the Tour of South Bohemia in September and then a stage win at the Circuit des Ardennes the following month meant there was no doubt he would move on from the Lotto u23 team. to the WorldTour team.
Martin Svrček will be with Quick-Step from July
Martin Svrcek – 18 years old, Slovenian, signed with Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl Team from 01:07:22. Can be signed on the basis that, ‘if he is Slovenian, then he must be good;’ but he is national junior road race and time trial champion, top-10 at the European and world junior road race championships and sixth in the Paris-Roubaix junior – and he has still a long time to develop.
Cian Uijtdebroeks – Better than Remco?
Cian Uijtdebroeks – 18 years old, Belgian, signed with BORA-hansgrohe. Perhaps the most anticipated of all and even younger than Svrcek by around 11 days to make him the youngest rider on the World Tour. Comparisons have been made with a certain R. Evenepoel – which Remco is not happy about, tweeting the superiority of his junior record over Cian’s. But the Walloon junior record is impressive – GP West Bohemia, Classic des Alpes Junior, GC de l’Aubel Thimister Stavelot, a stage of the Course de la Paix – although his ‘residence’ The world championships were a disappointment; sixth in the TT with a muscle tear and crash destroyed 70th in the road race. A very wise decision to sign BORA on a three-year contract away from the spotlight of the rabid Belgian media, despite courting DSM and the mighty Quick-Step.
Is Remco Evenepoel now an old man in the peloton?
With the season already underway, we at PEZ can’t wait to see these young men in action.