Success in cycling seem to rhyme with youth in recent years. More and more WorldTour teams are betting on young people, so we offer you an overview of the most promising young people to follow in 2021.
Tom Pidcock (21) – Ineos Grenadiers
One of the best cyclo-cross riders in the world alongside Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, the Briton Tom Pidcock is about to make his elite debut with Ineos Grenadiers. A complete rider, he brilliantly won the U23 Giro d’Italia in 2020 after claiming Paris-Roubaix Espoirs a year earlier. For his first year with the pros he will take part in some major races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Strade Bianche. The 21-year-old will probably make his Grand Tour debut too this season in the Vuelta a Espana.
Jake Stewart (21) – Groupama-FDJ
Jake Stewart, who raced with the continental team of Groupama-FDJ last season, was promoted to the first team this year. Fast in the sprints, he distinguished himself last season on the Tour du Limousin, where he finished second twice, with sprinters of the caliber of Jasper Philipsen or Fernando Gaviria around him. In the shadow of Arnaud Démare, the 21-year-old rider will certainly have the opportunity to show himself in certain stage races or in some classics.
Matteo Jorgenson (21) – Movistar
The only American in the Spanish WorldTour team, Jorgenson could well become one of the strongmen of the peloton. In 2020 he had some good results for a debutant in the Italian classics: Gran Trittico Lombardo (21st), Milan-San Remo (17th).
Andrea Bagioli (21) – Deceuninck Quick-Step
Member of the Wolfpack since last year, the Italian has a puncher profile and has already had the opportunity to showcase himself in 2020, a season in which he won a stage in the Tour de l’Ain ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)! But he also registered some interesting results on the hilly classics, as evidenced by his fifth place in the Giro dell’Emilia and his seventh place at the Flèche Branbançonne.
Andreas Leknessund (21) – Team DSM
After Thor Hushovd and Edvald Boasson Hagen, Leknessund should be the next big name in Norwegian cycling in the next few years. Specialist in the time trial, he was already the Norwegian Elite champion in this discipline in 2019 and 2020. Also European champion U21, he is also formidable in stage races. A member of a team focused on training young cyclists, he should make some buzz this season.
Quinn Simmons (20) – Trek-Segafredo
Junior world champion in 2019 in Harrogate, American rider Quinn Simmons confirmed his good skills on the classics last season, notably by taking sixth place in the Bretagne Classic, a one-day WorldTour race. Fairly complete, he has also shown himself at ease in some stage races, as shown by his second place behind Attila Valter in the general classification of the Tour of Hungary or his 16th place in the Tour of Poland.
Diego Camargo (20) – EF Education – NIPPO
EF Education-NIPPO decided to invest in the future and for that it turned to young Colombian cyclists. Arrived from Colombia Tierra de Atletas-GW Bicicletas, Diego Camargo could join the lineage of the South American talents of the team, as are Rigoberto Uran, Daniel Martinez (gone to Ineos Grenadiers) or Sergio Higuita. A promising climber, he seems to be cut out to shine in stage races. In 2020, he distinguished himself on his continent by finishing 18th in the Vuelta a San Juan and especially 11th in the Tour Colombia.
Clément Champoussin (22) – AG2R Citroën
Presented as a very talented climber, Clément Champoussin took the start in his first Grand Tour last October in the Vuelta. He took two top 10 stages on summit finishes. He also showed great skills in the one-day races, notably taking 24th place on La Flèche Wallonne after having worked for his leader Benoît Cosnefroy, runner-up to Marc Hirschi at the top of the Mur de Huy.
Harold Tejada (23) – Astana PremierTech
Also renowned for his abilities as a climber, Colombian rider Harold Tejada proved his talent alongside his compatriot and now ex-teammate Miguel Angel Lopez on the Tour de France. Sixth in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge before the Tour, he notably did an important job for his leader during the ascent of the Grand Colombier, the end of the 15th stage of the Grande Boucle in 2020. With the absence of Superman in 2021, there is no doubt that he will have a more important role within the Kazakh formation.
Olav Kooij (19) – Jumbo-Visma
Only 19-years-old, he will join the Dutch first team from July 1, 2021. Riding for the development team last season, the Dutchman won a stage in the Coppi Bartali. A fast sprinter, he also distinguished himself in his category by winning races such as the GP Kranj or the Orlen Nations Grand Prix.