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Full team-by-team information to the boys’s biking season


UCI WorldTour 2021: Complete team-by-team guide to the men's cycling season

UCI WorldTour 2021: Full team-by-team information to the boys’s biking season

Comprising 19 groups from 13 totally different nations and 5 continents, the UCI WorldTour is the very best division {of professional} street biking.

Forward of the brand new season that options 33 occasions starting from one-day races via to the jewels within the crown of males’s biking: the three-week grand excursions, Telegraph Sport solid its crucial eyes over every squad.

How did they do final yr? The place will their wins most certainly come from in 2021? What are the massive transfers which have occurred and which kids are we most enthusiastic about following all year long?

Ag2r-Citroën

Nationality​: France
UCI World Rating 2020: fifteenth
Normal supervisor: Vincent Lavenu
Title sponsors: Private insurance coverage and French vehicle producer

Following the departure of Romain Bardet who had spent his whole profession on the crew, Ag2r-Citroën’s emphasis has shifted from focusing on the final classification in the direction of the classics and looking for phases.

Whereas a lot can be anticipated from big-name signing Greg Van Avermaet, success might properly come from in-house. Benoît Cosnefroy loved a protracted spell within the mountains jersey ultimately yr’s Tour de France earlier than taking podium locations at La Flèche Wallonne, De Brabantse Pijl and Paris-Excursions to underline what a proficient and versatile rider the 25-year-old is.

The arrival of Bob Jungels, a former winner at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, will present some much-needed firepower within the early spring classics and will even present an possibility within the common classification. The seize of Ben O’Connor — who gained a stage ultimately yr’s Giro d’Italia — on a one-year deal seems an astute acquisition.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

It was skinny pickings for the French crew in 2020: a solitary WorldTour win in your complete season when Nans Peters proved he was no one-hit marvel a yr after successful from a breakaway on the Giro d’Italia. And what a observe up it was for the younger Frenchman who, racing on house turf, dropped Ilnur Zakarin on the descent of the Peyresourde earlier than soloing to the second win of his profession throughout stage eight on the Tour.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Ag2r-Citroën might have added 11 names to their roster, however it is going to take a while for a lot of to get used to Bardet, 30, not using for the crew. The departure to DSM might properly give Bardet a much-needed new lease of life, whereas his former employers can be hoping for the same increase.

Astana-Premier Tech

Nationality: Kazakhstan
UCI World Rating 2020: Seventh
Normal supervisor: Alexandre Vinokourov
Title sponsors: Kazakh consortium and Canadian biotechnology firm

Alexandre Vinokourov might find yourself rueing the lack of Miguel Ángel López, however one imagines the Kazakh is not going to have misplaced an excessive amount of sleep through the shut season given the remaining firepower he has at his disposal.

One of many huge issues for Astana, presumably, is the age of the creaking squad, with a variety of the big-name riders all edging in the direction of the latter elements of their careers: Omar Fraile (30), the Izagirre brothers (Ion, 31 and Gorka, 33) and Luis León Sánchez (37) are all of their thirties, as is Jakob Fuglsang (35) who final yr gained his second monument at Il Lombardia.

Nonetheless, together with a variety of kids that may carry some recent blood into the squad, the 24-year-old Aleksandr Vlasov can be hoping to construct on what become a irritating season for the Russian. Spectacular performances at La Route d’Occitanie and a victory on the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Problem, together with some good outcomes on the Italian classics, had been tempered by the frustration of getting to desert the Giro d’Italia. Bounced again on the Vuelta a España the place he completed second on the Angliru stage, although, underlining why many have tipped him to turn out to be the primary Astana rider since Fabio Aru in 2015 to win a grand tour.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

In what turned out to be some of the breathtaking Excursions de France in residing reminiscence López, the rider that’s nicknamed Superman in Colombia, left his rivals gasping for air on the vertiginous slopes of the col de la Loze. The 26-year-old might not have threatened the general, however for one majestic afternoon he rode Primoz Roglic, Sepp Kuss and Tadej Pogacar off his wheel making all three look atypical, which they’re something however.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Although removed from being the crew’s figurehead, the departure of López overshadows any of the incoming eight riders who’re, broadly talking, untried kids. “They had been six great years, I grew up and discovered loads with them,” mentioned López following his switch to Movistar.

Bahrain Victorious

Nationality: Bahrain
UCI World Rating 2020: thirteenth
Normal supervisor: Brent Copeland
Title sponsor: Kingdom of Bahrain

Regardless of having misplaced crew principal Rod Ellingworth, who returned to Ineos Grenadiers after only one season on the Bahraini squad, the long run will not be as grim as some have predicted for Bahrain Victorious in 2021.

The arrival of Jack Haig ought to bolster Mikel Landa’s grand tour ambitions, whereas the 27-year-old could also be eager on taking a management position within the shorter one-week races. It’s elsewhere, although, the place the wins might come from for the intriguingly renamed Bahrain Victorious squad.

Dylan Teuns, 28, has the facility and climbing means to manage on each the Belgian cobbles and Ardennes classics, whereas Heinrich Haussler (36) might also problem within the spring classics. It’s Fred Wright, although, that could be the crew’s darkest horse. Working under the radar, away from the highlight positioned on Ineos riders, the Londoner impressed because the grand tour debutant completed fourth throughout a stage of final yr’s Vuelta a España.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Jan Tratnik’s win on the Giro d’Italia got here as a blessed aid for the crew, it was a aid too for the Slovenian whose brother and girlfriend stood on the roadside close to the end line of stage 16 at San Daniele del Friuli. Tratnik rode a canny finale and dropped Ben O’Connor, who had earlier chased him down earlier than the pair rode in the direction of the end collectively, on the final quick and steep climb of the day to say the most important win of his profession.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Signed on a three-year contract from Mitchelton-Scott — renamed BikeExchange for 2021 — Haig, in principle, is a really sensible signing. The Australian diesel will a key cog within the stage-race engine room and will even land an enormous one for himself if he’s given the liberty to roam.

BikeExchange

Nationality: Australia
UCI World Rating 2020: eleventh
Normal supervisor: Shayne Bannan
Title sponsor: Australian biking retailer

The headline for some might have been the switch of Adam Yates who joined Ineos Grenadiers through the shut season, however the Briton’s departure is much from being the one change throughout the Australian crew.

Together with Adam Yates, Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Daryl Impey (Israel Begin-up Nation) and Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) additionally headed out of the exit door whereas the veteran puncheur Michael Albasini retired. Coming within the different route, Amund Grondahl Jansen arrived from Jumbo-Visma, Tanel Kangert is available in from EF Professional Biking, Michael Matthew returns and the crew signed 21-year outdated Italian Kevin Colleoni.

And so, what to anticipate in 2021? With 11 of their 27-man squad at or above the age of 30, the make-up of the crew is beginning to look very acquainted and, fairly presumably, a bit of drained. The likes of Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves, who regardless of the Colombian’s boyish smile is 31, have to ship huge one-day wins or launch a severe common classification problem within the grand excursions. On a extra optimistic observe, the 24-year-old Lucas Hamilton confirmed glimpses of promise final yr, with a Tirreno-Adriatico stage win.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Again-to-back stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico from Hamilton and Simon Yates had been the highlights of what had been a disappointing season. Just a few days later, nonetheless, Yates gained the final classification forward of fellow Briton Geraint Thomas, making the Mitchelton-Scott rider one of many favourites for the Giro d’Italia. Sadly the Tirreno-Adriatico title in September was pretty much as good because it obtained for Yates and his team-mates.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Having spent 4 seasons at Sunweb, the return of Matthews ought to carry some much-needed metal within the punchy one-day classics, whereas the Australian can go stage looking on the Tour. Hopefully can supply the crew some perception after shedding Adam Yates to Ineos Grenadiers over the winter.

Bora-Hansgrohe

Nationality: Germany
UCI World Rating 2020: Sixth
Normal supervisor: Ralph Denk
Title sponsors: Producers of kitchen home equipment & toilet merchandise

Simply weeks out from the beginning of the season new signing Wilco Kelderman, a common classification rider who completed third ultimately yr’s Giro d’Italia, and a bunch of team-mates had been concerned in a crash throughout a coaching camp close to Lake Garda in northern Italy. It was the worst attainable begin for Kelderman; the worst begin to the brand new yr for Bora-Hansgrohe.

Just below two weeks after Kelderman was left concussed and having sustained a fractured vertebrae — whereas Rüdiger Selig and Andreas Schillinger had been all taken to hospital — it was Peter Sagan’s flip to provide his crew a fright after he crashed whereas on a coaching camp on Gran Canaria. Issues, one feels, can solely get higher for the luckless squad.

Whereas a lot of the main target can be on an ageing Sagan, the squad has loads of firepower upon which it could actually rely, together with their tried and examined trio of German riders Pascal Ackermann, Emanuel Buchmann and Maximilian Schachmann. Capable of problem, respectively, within the pure sprints, the Ardennes-style climbs and the excessive mountains, this trident will make sure the crew is difficult throughout all terrains as soon as racing is below approach.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Issues didn’t look good for Sagan after he had lastly loosened his vice-like grip on the inexperienced jersey on the Tour de France. With sharpened quills biking’s obituary writers ready themselves as he headed to his maiden Giro. In Italy the as soon as imperious Sagan appeared . . . regular. Throughout stage 10, although, he launched an audacious assault from a long way out within the lashing rain to say certainly one of his biggest wins. Pure Saganissimo.

Greatest switch of the shut season

A runners-up place at Paris-Roubaix and fifth at Tour of Flanders in 2019 would recommend that Nils Politt might be the inheritor obvious to Sagan who, regardless of his sensible win on the Giro, is a fading drive. Which can be why Bora-Hansgrohe handed the 26-year-old Politt a three-year contract.

Cofidis, Options Crédits

Nationality: France
UCI World Rating 2020: twentieth
Normal supervisor: Cédric Vasseur
Title sponsor: Cash-lending firm

Following their return to the highest tier of biking, a lot was anticipated from Cofidis in 2020 following their high-profile signings of Italian sprinter Elia Viviani and French common classification contender Guillaume Martin. After which? Effectively, not a lot sadly. It was, in abstract, a poor season for the French crew whose look ahead to a stage win on the Tour de France was prolonged to 13 years having once more fired blanks on house turf.

Within the countdown to the brand new season, it was reported that Elia Viviani had undergone surgical procedure having skilled coronary heart palpitations whereas on a coaching experience. Regardless of the setback, he confirmed his race schedule would go forward as deliberate. “My programme stays the identical,” he mentioned. “I’m calm and in addition decided to have the season of redemption that I would like.”

It isn’t, nonetheless, all doom and gloom for Cofidis. Martin can be hoping to construct on what was a promising season, whereas the squad has sufficient expertise to choose off the odd win as soon as the stage races get below approach. Might battle within the one-day classics, though the addition of Luxembourg rider Jempy Drucker might go some strategy to assist in that division.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Whereas Attilio Viviani and Anthony Perez might declare their stage wins at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo and the Tour du Haut Var had been highlights of the season, it was Martin’s efficiency through the opening week of the Tour that impressed most. Third on stage 4 at Orcières-Merlette behind Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar may have given the Frenchman lots to mull over through the winter, and many to construct on in 2021.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Though he has simply three wins on his palmarès, veteran German Simon Geschke brings with him a wealth of expertise. Although unlikely so as to add any cash into Cofidis’ prize pot, the 34-year-old can be a dependable domestique for chief Martin and is a more-than-capable street captain.

Deceuninck-Fast Step

Nationality: Belgium
UCI World Rating 2020: Second
Normal supervisor: Patrick Lefevere
Title sponsors: Producer of home windows & laminate flooring producers

Regardless of having held the maillot jaune for 3 days on the Tour de France earlier than a jolly inexperienced Irishman gained the ultimate stage on the Champs-Élysées, some throughout the crew may have thought of 2020 a disappointment. Even together with the rainbow jersey gained in Imola and their Portuguese carrying the maglia rosa on his younger shoulders for 15 days on the Giro d’Italia.

Whereas shedding their place because the world No 1-ranked crew — a title the crew held for 2 years straight earlier than Jumbo-Visma toppled them — Deceuninck-Fast Step additionally didn’t win a single monument. Although not unparalleled, these races are the bread and butter of the Belgian crew.

Although full of expertise, can be fascinating to see how they address the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert within the cobbled classics, the races the place the Belgian crew is predicted to carry out by each sponsors and its passionate fanbase in Flanders. In Julian Alaphilippe can be eyeing success within the Ardennes and stage two on the Tour, and praying Remco Evenepoel can return to motion following his long-term lay-off and eventually get his grand tour profession below approach on the Giro. Might be attention-grabbing to see how the crew handle Joao Almeida who was, arguably, the breakthrough rider of 2020 after he led the Giro for 2 weeks.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Going into the Giro few had been acquainted with Almeida. Three weeks later the 22-year-old was being talked of as a possible grand tour winner. Regardless of the successes of Evenepoel who gained all 4 stage races he began, it was the way in which through which Almeida and his team-mates defended the maglia rosa that impressed most. Honourable point out should exit to younger Briton James Knox who labored tirelessly for the trigger.

Greatest switch of the shut season

His finest days might be behind him, however ​Mark Cavendish’s return to Deceuninck-Fast Step is an interesting transfer from the wily old operator Patrick Lefevere. Whether or not he wins races, or most certainly doesn’t, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see what position Cavendish performs for the crew.

DSM

Nationality: Germany
UCI World Rating 2020: Fifth
Normal supervisor: Iwan Spekenbrink
Title sponsor: Dutch multinational

When it comes to race wins — 16 at Continental and WorldTour stage via 9 totally different riders — 2020 was the very best yr the crew had had since 2017 (18) which, given the truncated nature of the season, was spectacular.

It was the character of these wins, although, that stood out most. Whether or not eyeing an early-season win at Paris-Good, a stage on the Tour de France or a solo sortie within the Ardennes, the crew’s sporting administrators had it lined. Technically and tactically the squad had been virtually faultless. Even on the Giro d’Italia the place there was a slight wobble, 24-year-old Jai Hindley gained the spectacular stage that traversed the Stelvio Go earlier than ending second total; his now former team-mate Wilco Kelderman third.

The departure of Marc Hirschi within the new yr might have solid a shadow over DSM’s preparations for the season, however the arrival of Romain Bardet is an interesting switch. Whether or not or not the Frenchman is deployed as a common classification contender, a stage hunter within the huge races or the hilly one-day classics stays to be seen, however one can solely assume the brains behind some of the thrilling groups of the final yr have a plan.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

With spectacular wins from Tiesj Benoot, Hindley, Hirschi, Soren Kragh Andersen it’s a troublesome one: take your decide. Nonetheless, Kragh Andersen’s first stage on the Tour was definitely essentially the most entertaining. In one other tactical masterclass from the crew, Benoot attacked off the entrance earlier than Hirschi went, adopted by the Dane Kragh Andersen who soloed throughout the road to carry house the bacon with the most important win of his profession.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Hirschi​’s departure from DSM on January 5 took nearly everyone without warning. Following his stellar breakthrough season in 2020 it was assumed the crew would construct round him. The younger Swiss, although, had different plans and 4 days later joined UAE Workforce Emirates. Ouch.

EF Schooling-Nippo

Nationality: US
UCI World Rating 2020: tenth
Normal supervisor: Jonathan Vaughters
Title sponsors: Schooling firm and Japanese building firm

Loved their finest season since 2014, gained phases in all three grand excursions — with six totally different riders — and confused many in the conservative world of cycling by linking up with a well-known fashion brand to provide a one-off package, with geese on. All-in-all, a profitable season then.

Following a difficult few years, Jonathan Vaughters’ squad has quietly and effectively turn out to be a well-rounded and balanced outfit, in a position to problem for phases and the classics. Whereas the departures of Daniel Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers), Michael Woods and Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Begin-up Nation) and Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-Assos) will definitely weaken them, the core of the squad seems robust sufficient to problem all through the season.

In principle, misplaced extra firepower than they introduced in through the shut season, however Hugh Carthy ought to carry the crew additional pleasure all through 2021, whereas it is going to be attention-grabbing to watch the continued improvement of promising younger American climber Neilson Powless. Whereas Ruben Guerreiro and Sergio Higuita may help within the mountains, Alberto Bettiol and Michael Valgren will spearhead the spring classics marketing campaign.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Together with Italian climbs the Mortirolo Go and Monte Zoncolan, the Alto de l’Angliru in Asturias in northern Spain is taken into account one of many hardest ascents in world biking. And so when Carthy gained stage 12 on the Vuelta a España on this legendary climb your complete world took discover. The way through which the 193cm tall Prestonian dropped a few of the finest climbers within the race was as spectacular because it was breathtaking.

Greatest switch of the shut season

EF Schooling-Nippo can be hoping that new signing Valgren can rediscover his 2018 type. Nonetheless, making his crew debut at Étoile de Bessèges the Dane suffered an enormous setback following a crash through which he sustained fractures to the second and third metacarpals in his left hand.

Groupama-FDJ

Nationality: France
UCI World Rating 2020: Ninth
Normal supervisor: Marc Madiot
Title sponsor: French nationwide lottery

Take away the wins from sprinter Arnaud Démare and Stefan Küng and Kevin Geniets’ nationwide titles and Groupama-FDJ had been left with simply three wins in 2020, the opening stage at Étoile de Bessèges for Alexys Brunel and a pair for younger climber David Gaudu on the Vuelta a España.

Given the crew is actually a state-sponsored automobile to promote the French nationwide lottery — run by people that suppose and act as civil servants, in accordance with French journalist François Thomazeau — it’s unlikely Marc Madiot is below strain to ship higher ends in 2021, although most observers can be hoping he can. It’s secure to say that final yr’s Tour de France was an unmitigated catastrophe after the crew’s essential common classification hope Thibaut Pinot crashed on stage one, whereas his No 2 Gaudu was nameless having arrived off the again of an sickness.

With a largely unchanged squad, Madiot can be hoping that Pinot can problem in both the Tour, or if reviews are to be believed, the Giro d’Italia whereas Démare will, certainly, make his return to the Grande Boucle. Démare might also be focusing on the spring classics, together with Swiss time-trial specialist Küng who managed top-10 finishes final yr at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Ghent-Wevelgem and Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Having been omitted from the Tour squad, Démare went on to win 4 phases on the Giro together with the factors jersey. It was his victory on stage six, although, that stood head and shoulders above the remaining. On an uphill drag that favoured the likes of Michael Matthews or Peter Sagan, Démare went from a long way out to take the stage and underline why many argued he was the very best all-round sprinter of 2020.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Solely time will inform if permitting the proficient Frenchman Marc Sarreau to affix Ag2r-Citroën was a mistake or not. Nonetheless, having reduce quick his season following his involvement within the crash that did for fellow sprinter Fabio Jakobsen ultimately yr’s Tour of Poland, his situation is unknown.

Ineos Grenadiers

Nationality: Nice Britain
UCI World Rating 2020: Fourth
Normal supervisor: Sir Dave Brailsford
Title sponsor: Multinational chemical substances firm

It was a peculiar yr for the British crew, however one which noticed Ineos Grenadiers earn some new followers after adopting a new-look model racing. Admittedly, their swashbuckling fashion was largely enforced on them after crew leaders Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, nevertheless it was nonetheless a welcome method from a crew lengthy related to metronomic racing.

Having strengthened with Laurens De Plus, Daniel Martínez, Richie Porte, Adam Yates, Ineos Grenadiers would seem greater than ready for the problem laid down by Jumbo-Visma and UAE Workforce Emirates ultimately yr’s Tour de France. The addition of British neo-pro Tom Pidcock, in the meantime, ought to give the squad the choice to liven issues up within the early season one-day races, whereas one other younger Briton Ethan Hayter seems on the right track to make a reputation for himself within the classics.

It will likely be attention-grabbing to see how the crew administration method the brand new season: do they proceed in the identical vein as 2020, or revert to sort? No matter is determined, in Thomas, Bernal, Richard Carapaz and Geoghegan Hart — their 4 former grand tour winners — they’ve the firepower to contest the most important stage races, and sufficient expertise throughout to board to problem within the Ardennes classics. Chris Froome might have left, however the crew’s conveyor belt of expertise is exhibiting no signal of coming to a halt.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Having arrived on the Giro d’Italia as domestique for team-mate Geraint Thomas, Geoghegan Hart was put in as a 225-1 outsider to win his first grand tour when the Welshman crashed out simply three days into the race. Two stage wins and a maglia rosa — that he sealed on the ultimate day — later and the Londoner joined the game’s immortals. It was one of many feelgood tales of not solely the biking season, however of the sporting yr too.

Greatest switch of the shut season

The seize of Pidcock is an enormous coup for Ineos Grenadiers. Not solely is he some of the promising abilities on the planet proper now, but additionally some of the versatile and thrilling riders of a technology. Focusing on the Ardennes and hopes to makes his grand tour debut on the Vuelta a España.

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

Nationality: Belgium
UCI World Rating 2020: twentieth
Normal supervisor: Jean-François Bourlart
Title sponsors: Belgian meals retailer and engineering corporations

The most recent children on the WorldTour block, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux acquired their top-tier standing having taken the licence from the now defunct CCC squad. They’re additionally, on paper, one of many weakest.

Regardless of having signed the vastly skilled Rein Taaramae (33), Jan Hirt (30), and Louis Meintjes (28), might battle at making any type of impression within the high stage. Nonetheless, can be hoping to problem for phases and stepping into breakaways through the Tour de France, and will even decide up the occasional win on the decrease Continental stage.

Of the additional additions — Jonas Koch, Baptiste Planckaert, Lorenzo Rota, Taco van der Hoorn, Riccardo Minali and Georg Zimmermann — it’s the Dutchman Van der Hoorn that catches the attention most. The previous Jumbo-Visma rider might have a brief palmarès with simply the lesser recognized Schaal Sels one-day race on his listing of wins, alongside the Primus Traditional and a BinckBank Tour stage, however could also be a supply of victories for his new crew.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Taking simply 4 wins in 2020, none of which had been at WorldTour stage, was not precisely inspiring stuff for the crew. In reality, the most important victory got here from Xandro Meurisse who gained a stage on the Vuelta a Murcia earlier than he clinched the general within the two-day race. Sadly, the Belgian all-rounder joined Alpecin-Fenix over the winter and so is not going to be repeating comparable performances for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 2021.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Meintjes might have struggled since ending eighth on the 2017 Tour, however the 28-year-old has a chance right here to save lots of his floundering profession. Equally, having signed the South African climber on a one-year deal the crew might have landed themselves an absolute steal.

Israel Begin-up Nation

Nationality: Israel
UCI World Rating 2020: twenty second
Normal supervisor: Kjell Carlstrom
Title sponsor: Tel Aviv-based non-profit organisation

Having completed backside of the WorldTour pile in 2020, one imagines that when Israel Begin-up Nation proprietor Sylvan Adams delivered his end-of-year report, the Canadian billionaire property developer may have insisted that in 2021, his riders and help workers ‘should do higher’.

The seize of seven-time grand tour winner Chris Froome from Ineos Grenadiers that sparked an enormous recruitment drive took the headlines, however the strain can be on the 35-year-old who has not gained a race since Might 2018 to ship the products. The general strengthening of the squad, nonetheless, ought to allow the crew to make the required enhancements.

The arrivals of Sebastian Berwick, Patrick Bevin, Alessandro De Marchi, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Daryl Impey, Taj Jones, Sep Vanmarcke and Michael Woods will each supply help to Froome, whereas concurrently add to the crew’s collective palmarès. A extremely creditable eighth place on the 2019 Vuelta a España — between Wilco Kelderman and Marc Soler — underlines why Fredrik Hagen was wished to assist Froome within the mountains, whereas De Marchi (rouleur), Impey (baroudeur), and Woods (puncheur) have all proved themselves on the highest stage.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Out of contract on the finish of the season and anticipating his first youngster, Alex Dowsett managed to get into the breakaway throughout stage eight on the Giro d’Italia. For some which will have been sufficient. Not on at the present time. Having labored along with team-mate Matthias Brändle, Dowsett escaped round 20km from the road earlier than utilizing his time trial expertise to perfection and declare an emotional win for each rider and followers watching at house.

Greatest switch of the shut season

He’s the big-budget signing round which the crew’s Tour ambitions have been constructed, however can Froome buck the pattern for kids successful and take house a record-equalling fifth maillot jaune? No matter occurs, following the Froome roadshow must be totally engrossing.

Jumbo-Visma

Nationality: Holland
UCI World Rating 2020: First
Normal supervisor: Richard Plugge
Title sponsors: Enterprise software program supplier and grocery store chain

In 2015 the Dutch crew gained simply two WorldTour races — phases on the Eneco Tour and Vuelta a España. 5 years later two monuments (Milan-Sanremo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège), a grand tour (Vuelta a España) and three phases on the Tour de France resulted in them changing into the No 1 ranked crew in males’s street biking. It has been fairly the transformation.

Might have misplaced just a few domestiques, however the arrivals of Edoardo Affini, Sam Oomen, Nathan Van Hooydonck ought to present ample substitute. Are extensively anticipated to be difficult for the Tour de France once more following a heartbreaking denouement to final yr’s race when chief Primoz Roglic misplaced his yellow jersey to Tadej Pogacar on the penultimate day.

Are absolutely anticipated, too, to be focusing on the cobbled classics with Wout van Aert poised to renew hostilities along with his cyclo-cross nemesis Mathieu van der Poel in what is popping into one of many nice rivalries of the game. Elsewhere, can be fascinating to observe the event of Tobias Foss, the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir winner, and monitor the trajectory of Sepp Kuss, the more and more spectacular mountain domestique.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

A fortnight after enduring the crushing disappointment of shedding the chief’s yellow jersey on the Tour, Roglic bounced again in one of the best ways conceivable. Having appeared poised to but once more miss out, Roglic pounced on the final to disclaim an already celebrating Julian Alaphilippe — who was later relegated — to claim a dramatic maiden monument at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in what was top-of-the-line one-day races of the yr.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Though not strictly talking a switch, when Tom Dumoulin walked out of the team’s pre-season training camp in want of a break it very a lot felt like the top of the street for the 30-year-old. If the Dutchman doesn’t return to motion his absence will come as a heavy blow to Jumbo-Visma.

Lotto-Soudal

Nationality: Belgium
UCI World Rating 2020: seventeenth
Normal supervisor: John Lelangue
Title sponsors: Belgian nationwide lottery and adhesives producer

Bolstered largely by Caleb Ewan’s wins — the Australian sprinter gained two phases on the Tour de France, following two the Tour Down Below and others on the UAE Tour and the Tour de Wallonie earlier than taking his seventh of the season at Scheldeprijs — solely Matthew Holmes and Tim Wellens managed to take house any WorldTour wins in 2020.

Whether or not or not it was fuelled by struggling their worst season in a decade, or not, an inlux of younger riders — all however one (Kamil Malecki, 25) are both 23 or below — offers the crew a really new really feel for 2021. It could additionally result in them difficult for fewer races too, not less than within the short-term.

May have a few of the older heads like Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb to step up through the spring classics, whereas Tim Wellens’ type at Etoile de Bessèges, the place he gained a stage and the general, would recommend the Belgian is in wonderful type within the countdown to the WorldTour.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Though there have been two stage wins on the Tour for Ewan alongside and two for Wellens on the Vuelta a España, it was an early-season victory from Holmes that stood out most. The Briton, competing in his first WorldTour race after becoming a member of from Madison-Genesis, did the unbelievable and ended Richie Porte’s six-year reign on the Willunga Hill stage on the Tour Down Below. Holmes later impressed in breakaways on the Giro d’Italia.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Having made wholesale adjustments, together with bringing in 5 riders from their under-23 squad, the departure of Carl Fredrik Hagen to Israel Begin-up Nation will seemingly price them within the hillier phases. Seems, although, that Lotto-Soudal’s plans are targeted very a lot on the long-term.

Movistar

Nationality: Spain
UCI World Rating 2020: 18th
Normal supervisor: Eusebio Unzué
Title sponsor: Spanish cell phone firm

Given they misplaced Richard Carapaz, Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana going into the yr, and signed no fewer than 14 riders, final season was all the time going to be certainly one of transition. No person, nonetheless, may have predicted that the oldest crew within the WorldTour would have endured the worst yr of their lengthy and illustrious historical past since first forming as Reynolds in 1980.

It’s secure to say that for Movistar in 2021, issues can solely get higher. Whereas the as soon as dependable Alejando Valverde, who at 40 is the oldest rider within the WorldTour, is beginning to look his age, huge issues can be anticipated from Marc Soler. Enric Mas, in the meantime, can be hoping to construct on his quietly spectacular performances ultimately yr’s excursions of France and Spain the place he completed fifth, regardless of barely poking his nostril into the wind. Large issues, too, are anticipated from marquee signing Miguel Ángel López who arrives from Astana and can, presumably, type a part of the crew’s two-pronged assault on the Tour de France alongside his new team-mate Mas.

Though not extensively heralded, the captures of Iván García Cortina and Gregor Mühlberger ought to give the squad an outlet within the spring classics, whereas additionally offering a few confirmed engines within the grand excursions. Gonzalo Serrano arrives from Caja Rural-Seguros RGA whereas Abner González turned the primary Puerto Rican to experience within the WorldTour.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

It was an uncharacteristically poor season for Movistar who managed simply two wins in your complete season, each coming from Soler. Having first gained a stage on the Mallorca Problem in February, the Spaniard landed an outstanding stage on the Vuelta a España after attacking on the descent off the ultimate climb on stage two earlier than soloing to victory. It got here as an enormous aid for the crew, with the added bonus of the win being on their house roads.

Greatest switch of the shut season

A yr after a really public dispute on the Vuelta, ​Ángel López has joined the crew he mentioned was stuffed with “silly individuals”. One imagines the pre-season coaching camp may have been attention-grabbing. Both approach, Movistar have acquired a proficient climber and confirmed stage winner.

Qhubeka-Assos

Nationality: South Africa
UCI World Rating 2020: twenty first
Normal supervisor: Doug Ryder
Title sponsors: South African charity and Swiss biking attire

Having misplaced their title sponsor late in 2020, Doug Ryder’s squad was handed a reprieve from Swiss attire model Assos who already equipped the crew with their package. Although welcome, the deal got here via too late to halt an exodus of riders with the squad shedding 15 riders to different groups whereas 4 retired. Coming within the different route had been 17 riders of various expertise from the under-23, Continental and WorldTour divisions.

Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the crew, saved maintain of world hour report holder Victor Campenaerts, whereas the veteran climber Domenico Pozzovivo, now 38, has one yr left on his contract. Giacomo Nizzolo, can be hoping to regain the shape he had earlier than crashing out of final yr’s Tour de France simply days after successful the European street title in Plouay.

Might rue the departure of Ben O’Connor to Ag2r-Citroën, however can be hoping the expertise of recent signings like Simon Clarke and Sergio Henao may help information their new-look squad in the precise route.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Whereas there have been some spectacular wins for Italian sprinter Nizzolo, it was O’Connor’s stage victory on the Giro that towered above the remaining. A day after shedding out to Jan Tratnik, the Australian who was out of contract on the finish of the season, bounced again in the very best strategy to land the most important win of his profession. Presumably an enormous mistake in not re-signing him.

Greatest switch of the shut season

He might not have claimed a single race because the 2017 Tour when he gained on La Planche des Belles Filles, however Fabio Aru could be capable to rebuild his profession with Qhubeka-Assos. The 30-year-old has one yr through which to take action as he enters what many are calling the last-chance saloon.

Trek-Segafredo

Nationality: US
UCI World Rating 2020: Eighth
Normal supervisor: Luca Guercilena
Title sponsors: US bicycle producer and Italian espresso model

It was a blended season for the crew whose essential common classification rider Vincenzo Nibali appeared his age (36) on the Giro d’Italia, whereas one other, Bauke Mollema, crashed out of the Tour de France with a damaged wrist. It was not all doom and gloom, nonetheless. Richie Porte completed third on the Tour — the very best results of his profession — and world champion Mads Pedersen managed to point out off the rainbow stripes in Paris.

The early-season win from Jasper Stuyven at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was vastly spectacular, whereas wins from Pedersen on the Tour of Poland, BinckBank Tour and Ghent-Wevelgem together with the return to the fold of Quinn Simmons — who was suspended after the 2019 junior world champion posted “divisive” and “incendiary” tweets — would recommend that it’s the one-day classics the place the squad’s strengths might lie in 2021. Although not within the WorldTour, Matteo Moschetti twice obtained the higher of Pascal Ackermann to take wins on the Mallorca Problem, suggesting the 24-year-old Italian might have a future in sprinting forward of him.

Very quiet within the switch market, signing simply Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier from the WorldTour whereas three under-23 riders — Jakob Egholm, Mattias Skjelmose Jensen, Antonio Tiberi — additionally joined the squad.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Having book-ended his maiden Tour with two second place finishes, Pedersen did what few had predicted and obtained the higher of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert at Ghent-Wevelgem. Benefiting from the pair’s refusal to commit within the finale, the younger Dane proved but once more he was each a supremely proficient and canny rider as he gained his first semi-classic after outsprinting Florian Sénéchal and Matteo Trentin to the road.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Having lastly made the rostrum at a grand tour ultimately yr’s Tour, the 36-year-old Richie Porte will experience for his former paymasters Ineos Grenadiers in 2021. The departure of the stable skilled — although not a seasoned winner within the huge races — could also be an enormous loss within the grand excursions.

UAE Workforce Emirates

Nationality: UAE
UCI World Rating 2020: Third
Normal supervisor: José Antonio Fernández
Title sponsors: Emirates

The Emirati-owned squad with the Italian coronary heart loved its biggest season but when it comes to each variety of wins and, maybe extra importantly, the standard of wins. Phases in all three grand excursions, together with the most important prize of all of them — the fabled yellow jersey for successful the Tour de France — propelled the squad into entire new stratosphere. Together with Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma, UAE Workforce Emirates are actually anticipated to problem for the most important honours in world biking.

The arrival of Rafal Majka ought to give Tadej Pogacar extra help when he wants it most — the younger Slovenian can’t anticipate to defend his Tour title with out having to do a few of the heavy lifting in 2021 — whereas Matteo Trentin will carry some much-needed expertise. The shock signing of Marc Hirschi, in the meantime, will each take the strain off Pogacar whereas additionally, on paper, assuring his new paymasters some huge wins.

Was an enormous shock to see younger Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen depart for Alpecin-Fenix, however armed with Fernando Gaviria and the evergreen Alexander Kristoff ought to have sufficient to problem within the sprints and one-day classics. One other one to look at can be Brandon McNulty, 22, who completed fifteenth on his grand tour debut ultimately yr’s Giro d’Italia.

Greatest second or victory of 2020

Pogacar’s efficiency within the penultimate day time trial of the Tour was some of the astonishing days within the historical past of the world’s greatest bike race. For Pogacar, his efficiency was career-defining; for his rival and compatriot Primoz Roglic heartbreaking. A day after successful on La Planche des Belles Filles, Pogacar turned the second youngest winner within the Tour’s historical past courting again to 1903. Put merely: it was unbelievable.

Greatest switch of the shut season

Hirschi’s arrival from Sunweb was not solely the most important switch of UAE Workforce Emirates’ shut season, however of your complete WorldTour additionally. Certainly, it was reported by L’Equipe that his new employers multiplied his wage by 14 — from round €70,000 to €1 million. However can he ship? Most likely.



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