Each year the cycling world waits with anticipation for the first Grand Tour of the season to begin! The spring classics are a teaser of what the bigger races of the season will offer…but even before the racing gets under way the cycling world has been abuzz with rider transfers and new signings.
Staying up to date with the latest news can be tricky, luckily there are some journalists out there who are cycling mad and never miss a beat! You can stay up to date with transfer news by reading the latest articles, following the news on twitter or even join a forum for on the go action/views.
There is even a twitter handle to follow!
If you want blow by blow action, you can check out the transfer forum on cycling news.
The transfer period for the 2018 season is now behind us and we know the 18 World tour teams and their rosters, who gain automatic entry into the Grand Tours.
The first Grand tour, the Giro d’Italia, is upon us. It’s a historic one with it being the first ever Grand Tour to start outside Europe! The speculation around the GC (general classification) favourites is a hot topic in the press, with much focus being given to the team surrounding the favourites and who will be the strongest when it comes to the third week of the Grand Tour.
Sure, the GC battles are exciting and this is what many cycling sponsors pay ‘big bucks’ for, but let’s shift the focus quickly and take a look at some of the ‘rookies’ (the neo pros) who will be tackling the pro peloton for the first time.
So, who exactly is classified as a ‘neo pro’? The UCI defines these riders as “any rider who joins a UCI WorldTeam or UCI Professional Continental Team for the first time no later than during his twenty-fifth year (25 or younger)”. If you still confused about the term neo pro, check out this video from the Global Cycling Network (GCN).
The verdict is out as to whether these newbies will handle the heat of the pro peloton and there will definitely be a few surprises along the way…don’t count out the dark horses! After all Chris Froome once upon a time carried this very tag. Here are a few articles that outline some of the names that we should keep an eye on, who knows one of these riders may become the next world tour star.
The neo pros will bring a different energy to the peloton, many with a point to prove! We have a few on our own radar, but the stand outs are Pavel Sivakov, Willie Smit and Bjorg Lambrecht. Time will tell how these youngsters develop and we look forward to watching their journey.
That a wrap for this week’s insights, the cycling world is far more complex than one might think and there is A LOT that goes on before the Grand Tours kick off at the start of the European summer. From transfers to neo pros and GC contenders, it’s a small insight into professional cycling…it is a full time job after all!
Enjoy the start of the Giro and let’s hope Tom Dumoulin has left his rookie mistakes behind this year!