Signing top cyclists has become almost impossible and teams are changing their strategy

Road 08/07/24 15:15 Migue A.

The Ineos Grenadiers has revealed that it will launch a young talent program to find the future star of the sport. The decision could be the team's reaction to the impossibility of signing any of the heavyweights in the peloton. The team admits that results will take time to come, but it presents a promising new horizon.

Ineos Grenadiers changes strategy: from trying to sign a big name, to wanting to create one

The Ineos Grenadiers begins to plan what its future will be like the day after Geraint Thomas hangs up his bike at the end of 2025. The team has revealed that it is ruling out the idea of hiring the services of one of the big names in the peloton, after failed attempts to sign Remco Evenepoel. The British went all out for the Soudal Quick-Step rider - with a juicy offer on the table - but the attempts ended up being fruitless. Now, Ineos Grenadiers' plans involve a change of mentality that replaces big signings with internal promotion.

Although the team has cyclists of the caliber of Carlos Rodríguez, Tom Pidcock, or Egan Bernal, there is a gap with the all-powerful UAE Team Emirates and Visma-Lease a Bike. Although they trust that the strategy they have decided to adopt will bring them closer to the great goal of winning a Grand Tour, they acknowledge that it will take several seasons.

The Performance Director, Scott Drawer, explained in statements to Cyclingnews that since his return to the team, he has analyzed in detail the way the team operates. He admits that the owners insist on developing their own talent, so "we are not going to buy the best, we are going to develop our own." He also adds that "if we want to win Grand Tours again, we have to invest and work on young talents."

The first of these young talents is the Danish Peter Oxenberg -18 years old-. Drawer is focused on the 2026 roster, although he also ensures that they are thinking "about what the demands of the sport will be in 2030; if you think about next year, everyone will be ahead of us. So we are definitely trying to be a bit more creative and rebuild."

Ineos Grenadiers' plan is to sign riders between 16 and 23 years old, develop them, and open a door for them to enter the WorldTour. It is unknown if to achieve this last step they will create a Continental team or work with satellite teams. What Drawer did confirm is that at this moment, this project is the main objective, while postponing any decision related to the creation of a women's team.

"The traditional paths to become a WorldTour cyclist have changed. Everything starts at a younger age," he explains, and states that "the development of riders will be an important part of the team in the future. We want the best young British talents, and any young talent, to look at what we are doing and want to develop with us."

Drawer also addresses the controversy sparked in the Netflix series 'Tour de France Unchained' by hinting at the importance of Tom Pidcock and Steve Cummings in the team's future. Furthermore, he praised both the British rider and Egan Bernal and Carlos Rodríguez, regarding whom he stated in relation to the 2024 Tour that "he is better than last year and will get stronger in this race."

Looking ahead to the coming years, Drawer is candid when he explains that "we want the guys to feel they can take risks, and we want them to take them," even though "the best results won't always be achieved." "We are going to create more and more opportunities for everyone to win big races," he explained.

Finally, he expressed on the same subject that "we hope that will encourage people to join the team and, above all, to stay because they see the opportunities that are presented to them. That is the future of the team at Ineos Grenadiers."

Drawer's work also focuses on changing the team's mentality and introducing a new culture, as he himself affirms that "I think we have been caught between what we were and where we want to go."



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Comprar superciclistas se ha vuelto casi imposible y los equipos cambian de estrategia


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Comprar superciclistas tornou-se quase impossível e as equipes estão mudando de estratégia


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Acheter des supercyclistes est devenu presque impossible et les équipes changent de stratégie