Madison Genesis look set to be the team to beat in domestic races next season. 2019 will be the team’s seventh year, and their line-up is arguably their strongest yet: Roger Hammond returns as Team Manager after a stint as sports director at Dimension Data; British champion Connor Swift stays on after narrowly missing out on a World Tour contract; and Britain’s most prolific Continental-level UCI points scorer, Ian Bibby, joins from the defunct JLT Condor team.
This preview provides you with key facts about the team and a comprehensive list of who is in the squad and who is out. It also features the verdict on the team from our newly signed British Conti Insider…
It has been called a ‘super-team’ and frankly it’s hard to argue that it isn’tBritish Conti Insider
Key facts and figures
|Team Manager||Roger Hammond|
|Previous team names||None|
|UCI World Ranking points|
|347 – 96th in UCI team rankings / |
3rd out of 6 British Conti teams
|No. of new signings||5|
|No. of retained riders||8|
|No. of departing riders||4|
|Average rider age|
|26.2 – 2nd oldest British Conti squad|
|UCI race wins 2018||British road race championships (Swift)|
|National A race wins 2018||None|
|First 2019 race||25.03-31.03 Tour de Normandie, 2.2 (FRA)|
This year sees the squad strengthened with some of the country’s finest talent and prodigious winnersBritish Conti Insider
Verdict: the British Conti Insider’s view
Our ‘British Conti insider’ is an active DS with experience in the UK and abroad. Here is their verdict on the 2019 Madison Genesis squad.
Last week I made the prediction that two teams would dominate the domestic scene this year. The first was Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes. This week my take on the other: Madison Genesis. After winning both British Cycling road race series (the Spring Cup and the Grand Prix series), the national road race championships and a closely fought 2nd in the Tour Series, Madison Genesis proved a hard nut to crack. With so many cards to play, despite not winning a round of the Spring Cup or Grand Prix series, they were so consistent from the earliest races to the final at Leicester, missing the podium once only.
This year sees the squad strengthened with some of the country’s finest talent and prodigious winners: Ian Bibby, Tom Moses, and Jon Mould and two up and coming stars, Joey Walker and young Joe Laverick. It has been called a ‘super-team’ and frankly, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t. However, I’ve also heard whispers that other teams are saying: “Too many chiefs…”. When I spoke to Colin Sturgess (out-going DS) about this, he did not seem unduly concerned, saying that the team has an ethic of looking after one another and ‘sharing the love’ as he put it.
Newly returned DS Roger Hammond has worked with many of the riders in the past, and has a proven record winning the Tour Series, which will undoubtedly be a big target for the team in 2019, as will the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain. The same can be said of all UK Conti teams however, so a carefully selected overseas programme will be necessary; the UCI races days are what set apart the teams that are ultimately competitive and those that are simply ‘getting round’. Hammond’s connections and experience at the World Tour with Dimension Data will undoubtedly open doors to some good race invites.
It is no secret that Madison Genesis now has the country’s best budget at this level of competition, and once again it appears support from Madison is thorough and professional. There are changes in ‘sponsors’ for 2019 with Continental tyres being dropped in favour of Maxxis, nutrition being picked up by SiS, and a notable change to clothing supply by Pearl Izumi. (I must say, having seen the jersey design and colourway there’ll be no missing the team in 2019!) Interestingly some of the Shimano-equipped Genesis bikes will be sporting disc options this year after the team stayed somewhat surprisingly on rim brakes for 2018.
As with Canyon, Madison Genesis have options aplenty. Bibby can climb with the best, and will be ably supported by Holmes, Cuming, Handley and even Swift himself. For GC, the options are equally as strong, and the single day races are, in my opinion, where Madison Genesis really come into their own. Any one of the 13, with the possible exception of Laverick at present, can win a National Road Series race. If there is a weakness, I’d say Madison Genesis lack an out-and-out sprinter. But get Mould, Walker, Horton, Swift or even McEvoy to the sharp end of a sprint and you’d be hard pushed to beat any of them. How they play the lead-out roles remains to be seen, but given that British racing rarely involves a ‘train’ it is of little consequence. It’s worth mentioning that in the duo of Richard Handley and Erick Rowsell you have two of the country’s most experienced campaigners, and all-rounders. George Pym continues to impress, and 2019 could be his breakthrough year.
And what can be said of Connor Swift? Desperately unfortunate to not go Pro Continental or World Tour for 2019, I can only hope Hammond nurtures this amazing talent and Madison Genesis continue a rich vein of placing riders into the professional categories. Swift will be a defining factor in Madison Genesis’ performances this year, and proudly wearing the British champion’s jersey should propel the team to many a victory. He is already being seen as their totem and as Madison Genesis’ 13th signing, will it be lucky 13 for Connor?
|Ian Bibby||GBR||JLT Condor|
|Michael Cuming||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Richard Handley||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Matthew Holmes||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Tobyn Horton||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Joseph Laverick||GBR||First-year U23|
|Jonathan McEvoy||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Thomas Moses||GBR||JLT Condor|
|Jon Mould||GBR||JLT Condor|
|George Pym||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Erick Rowsell||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Connor Swift||GBR||Madison Genesis|
|Joey Walker||GBR||Team Wiggins|
|Isaac Mundy||GBR||SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling|
|Neil Van Der Ploeg||AUS||Team BridgeLane|
Featured photo: Luke Webber / Madison