News: Opportunties for Development Team Riders

Thanks to a new UCI rule allowing riders registered with a development team to race with the related WorldTeam during the season, Groupama-FDJ give Jake Stewart (20) opportunity to compete in the Tour of Algarve

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News: Opportunties for Development Team Riders

The connection between the continental team and WorldTeam reaches a new step this week. Thanks to a new UCI rule, riders registered with a development team may race with the related WorldTeam during the season. French WorldTour  team Groupama-FDJ cycling team will be one of the pioneers, allowing Britain’s Jake Stewart (20) and Lars van den Berg (21) to compete in the Tour of Algarve and Tour du Haut-Var respectively in the coming days with the “big boys”.

Over on the team’s website, Yvon Madiot explained mored about it.

“The first condition is to have a development team fully related to the WorldTeam. This is our case. This is a measure that we asked the UCI to implement for some time. We had anticipated it, and with the creation of the continental team last year, we were ready to get into it as soon as it would be confirmed. Now it is. Basically, you can bring, at the same time, up to four riders from the development team to the WorldTeam if these are Class 1 races. If this is an UCI Pro Series event, you can take a maximum of two riders from your development team. We were hoping to have this opportunity to exchange riders for a very long time. As the name says, the development team is there to develop young talents. So what could be better than a sort of internship?

Asked if this was similar to the teams taking on stagiaires (trainees) at the end of a season, he replied, “They are kind of trainees indeed, but throughout the year. Spots are already saved for them on some races, even if it means putting our WorldTeam riders in a bit of a competition with them. For example, there was a spot booked for the Tour of Algarve and another for the Tour du Haut-Var even if we could have candidates within our own roster. We decided this winter that we would make room for the young guys of the development team on certain events. We had identified these good-level races at the start of the season, there will be another phase around March, more French Cup orientated. We have pointed out several periods, and we will make even more room for them at the end of the season.

“What shows that this project is important to us, is that we haven’t saved spots for them in races where we were missing guys, or in ‘C’ teams. For example, Jake Stewart will go to the Algarve with Stefan Küng and Lars van den Berg to the Haut-Var with Thibaut Pinot. It’s no small matter. We will really count on them. They will immediately be in conditions to go for the victory with the leaders; they will not be there just as spectators. They’re not here to fill the holes, although it is possible that we will call on them once in a while to complete a weakened roster. The main idea is to offer them the opportunity to ride and learn with the WorldTeam.

Read more here



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