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2019 team preview: Team Wiggins Le Col

Key facts, squad list & the British Conti Insider verdict on the team

Team Wiggins Le Col has a much-reduced roster in 2019, retaining the core of their 2018 squad but waving goodbye to riders who have ‘aged-out’, as well as others, like Joey Walker, who have found contracts with other British Continental teams. It’s still an extremely talented squad, with stars Tom Pidcock, Mark Donovan and British under-23 road race champion Robert Scott being joined by some strong signings including Sam Jenner, who impressed in the 2019 Aussie U23 road and time trial championships, Dan Tullet, who races in Pidcock’s cyclocross team and Ben Healy, the Irish junior TT champion. Whatsmore, there are rumours the team may yet take on more riders…

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 British Conti Insider…

Team Wiggins Le Col will win, and Team Wiggins Le Col will win big in 2019

British Conti Insider
Photo: Team Wiggins Le Col

Key facts and figures

Team ManagerAndrew McQuaid
Established2015
Previous team namesTeam Wiggins (2015-18)
Squad size12 – 2nd smallest British Conti squad
UCI World Ranking points
(at 28.01.2019)
500 – 1st out of 6 British Conti teams
No. of new signings4
No. of retained riders8
No. of departing riders11
Average rider age
(at 15.01.2019)
20.1 – Youngest British Conti squad
UCI race wins 2018Stg 1, Volta ao Alentejo, 2.2 (Cullaigh)
Stg 6, Volta ao Alentejo, 2.2 (Cullaigh)
Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic, 1.2 (Cullaigh)
Giro della Valle d’Aosta, 2.2U (Donovan)
National A race wins 2018East Cleveland Klondike GP (Pidcock)
Leicester Castle Classic (Cullaigh)
First 2019 race21-24 Feb Tour of Antalya, 2.2 (TUR)

Team kit

It is strongly rumoured that Gabz Cullaigh will be returning to the team

British 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 Team Wiggins Le Col squad.

With an emphasis on under-23 development, Team Wiggins Le Col has already shown its credentials this year with New Zealander James Fouché taking out the win in the New Zealand national road championships to back up his under-23 ITT victory two days earlier. Add to the fact that Rob Scott will be racing in the under-23 British national jersey, O’Loughlin’s Irish under-23 ITT and Tom Pidcock having more jerseys than Brad Wiggins’s 101 Collection, it’s a good job Yanto Barker’s Le Col clothing stepped up sponsorship for 2019: there’s a lot of custom kit to be made.

The team throws together Irish and Commonwealth riders, with a sole Frenchman, Corentin Navarro. Downsized considerably for 2019 with some riders ‘ageing-out’ and some not retained it is somewhat of a surprise to see 25-year-old Lawrence Carpenter secure a spot. That said, he brings experience and with Tour of Britain qualification no doubt being based on domestic racing, it will allow for an extra pair of fresh legs whilst the under-23 squad are on overseas duties.

For me it is a rounded team, with Rob Scott being one of the fastest finishers in the country, that also has the ability to make breaks and get over hills. Mark Donovan will be looking to build on his phenomenal ride in the Baby Giro last year, and young Sam Jenner once again podiumed at the Australian under-23 nationals. Pidcock continues to impress at anything he turns his hand to, and in support there are keen and hungry riders that under the tutelage and guidance of Simon Cope and Chris Lillywhite will no doubt shine domestically and internationally. One only needs to scan through the list of ex-riders that have moved on up the ranks to Pro Conti or World Tour to know that Cope and Andrew McQuaid are certainly doing something right: Dibben, Doull, Latham, Lawless, Christian, Pearson, Davies, Knox…

I can only hope for the team’s sake that the Tour de Yorkshire (ASO) grant the team an invite this year

British Conti Insider

Whilst I have said all along that I see 2019 being a battle between Madison Genesis and Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes, under no circumstances should anyone ignore or discount Team Wiggins Le Col, particularly as it is strongly rumoured that Gabz Cullaigh will be returning to the team [we understand that the team might be adding more than just Cullaigh – Ed]. I can only hope for the team’s sake that the Tour de Yorkshire (ASO) grant the team an invite this year having ignored them in previous years. For under-23 riders to rub shoulders with the world’s best is invaluable experience, and doing so on ‘home’ roads will surely take the youngsters to new levels. Obviously Tour of Britain qualification is paramount, as is a varied overseas programme, and having only just scraped a ride at the Tour of Britain last year due to Aqua Blue withdrawing at the 11thhour, I feel certain Simon Cope won’t leave it to the final selection race at Stockton Grand Prix again.

Team Wiggins Le Col will win, and Team Wiggins Le Col will win big in 2019. But will the dual programme go against them in the long run? It remains to be seen.

Photo: Team Wiggins Le Col

2019 squad

RiderCountryPrevious team
Lawrence CarpenterGBRRibble Pro Cycling
Mark DonovanGBRTeam Wiggins
James FouchéNZLTeam Wiggins
Ben HealyIRLNone
Samuel JennerAUSMitchleton –
BikeExchange
Corentin NavarroFRA Team Wiggins
Michael O’LoughlinIRLTeam Wiggins
Thomas PidcockGBRTeam Wiggins
Oliver RobinsonGBRTeam Wiggins
Jacques SauvagnarguesGBRTeam Wiggins
Robert ScottGBRTeam Wiggins
Daniel TulettGBRNone

Departures

RiderCountry2019 status
Gabriel CullaighGBRUnknown
Mark DowneyIRLEvoPro Racing
Nathan DraperGBRHoldsworth Zappi
Etienne GeorgiGBRV.C.Toucy
Dylan Kerfoot-RobsonGBRVitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother
Campbell StewartNZLUnknown
Matthew TeggartIRLEvoPro Racing
Joey WalkerGBRMadison Genesis
Reece WoodGBRHoldsworth Zappi
Jesse YatesGBRActiveEdge Race Team

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