Communiqué – 21 October

Joe Hudson rounds up the latest domestic road racing news

The Classics have been completed, but the racing certainly hasn’t! The Giro d’Italia might be reaching its finale but the Vuelta a España is only just getting underway.

With so much going on, it’s easy for news to slip through the cracks so keep up to date with everything going on by browsing our news round-up below.

Race news

Geoghegan Hart takes magnificent Giro stage win

Ineos Grenadiers’ Tao Geoghegan Hart stormed to a spectacular victory on Stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia after powering up the mountain finish to Piancavallo.

Breaking away in the closing kilometres with Team Sunweb duo Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley, Geoghegan Hart kicked on in the final couple of hundred metres and left the pair in his dust as he took his first Grand Tour stage victory in dominant fashion. He had an advantage of two seconds over Kelderman.

Brits make Grand Tour debuts at Vuelta

Seven Brits took to the startline of the Vuelta a España on Tuesday, including four riders all making their Grand Tour debuts.

Tour De Yorkshire stage winner Harry Tanfield (AG2R La Mondiale), Mark Donovan (Team Sunweb), Fred Wright and Stevie Willams (both Bahrain McLaren) are all Grand Tour debutants.

The 25-year-old, who also won a pair of stages at the 2018 Tour of Britain while riding for Canyon Eisberg, will be taking part in the Spanish classic in his first season with the team. His season so far has centred around the Tour de Pologne and the Poitou-Charentes – taking third in the Mountains classification in the latter.

Photo: Stevie Williams

Wright made his debut just twos days after making his maiden Monument appearance at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Meanwhile, second-year neo-pro Stevie Williams, lines up after making a monumental comeback from an injury-plagued start to his pro career. You can hear his incredible story in an upcoming episode of The British Continental podcast.

The other Brits riding at the Vuelta are Scott Davies (Bahrain McLaren), Chris Froome (Ineos Grenadiers) and Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling). Carthy put in an attacking display on stage 1, eventually finishing the stage in 7th place, just four seconds down on stage winner Roglic.

Simon Carr secures Spanish success

Fresh from winning the youth jersey at the Volta a Portugal Edição Especial, NIPPO DELKO One Provence’s 22-year-old Simon Carr took a magnificent solo victory at the Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika.

Beating a chasing group which included Team Arkea-Samsic’s Winner Anacona, the 22-year-old soared to his first UCI Europe Tour victory in his maiden season with the team.

Want to find out more about Carr? Check out our interview with him from last year here.

Askey continues fine form on Paris-Tours

Having taken two top ten finishes on the Ronde de l’Isard (U23), Lewis Askey has continued his string of impressive results by taking tenth on the under-23s edition of Paris-Tours.

The Groupama-FDJ Continental rider finished just two seconds down on winner Rune Herregodts as he moved himself to a mass bunch of almost 40 riders which finished just behind the Belgian.

Jake Stewart steps up to World Tour

Jake Stewart took two top forty finishes in a pair of Belgian classics as he made an early step-up to the World Tour ahead of what will be a full campaign next year. Having started the season with Groupama-FDJ Conti, Stewart moved up to the Groupama-FDJ World Tour team ahead of Gent-Wevelgem – where he finished a more than respectable 35th, just a shade over three minutes down on the winners.

He scored an even better result just a few days later as he took 20th in a bunch sprint in the Scheldeprijs – finishing with the same time as race-winner Caleb Ewan.

Deignan takes top ten in Gent-Wevelgem

Just a week after securing her second Monument at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Lizzie Deignan continued her top form in Belgium by placing eighth in Gent-Wevelgem.

Breaking away with Trek-Segafredo team-mates early in the running, Deignan couldn’t match the sprint to the line by Boels-Dolman’s Jolien D’Hoore.

However, her eighth place allowed the Brit to maintain her lead at the top of the UCI Women’s World Tour rankings by just over 400 points from current Road World Champion Anna van der Breggen.

Alice Barnes takes sixth in De Panne

Canyon SRAM Racing’s Alice Barnes took a hard-fought sixth at AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne to finish her programme of Belgian classics on a high.

Initially crossing the line just behind the top three in seventh after just losing touch with the top three, she was promoted to sixth after race officials relegated Jolien D’Hoore to 24th for moving out of her lane in the final sprint.

Of note further down the classification was Abby-Mae Parkinson, who finished 30th for Lotto Soudal Ladies after her fourth Belgian classic in just under two weeks.

Transfer news

Hayter continues at Development Team Sunweb for 2021 …

Transfer news is now coming thick and fast. Dave Rayner Fund-supported rider Leo Hayter will continue his association with Development Team Sunweb for 2021.

The 19-year-old has already enjoyed strong results in his maiden year with the squad, including contributing to the team’s time trial win at the Ronde de l’Isard.

… as Pidcock joins Groupama-FDJ Continental

Joe Pidcock, brother of soon-to-be Ineos Grenadier Tom, has been confirmed alongside Lewis Askey at Groupama-FDJ Continental for 2021.

The 18-year-old, who finished seventh in the GC at La Philippe Gilbert Juniors earlier in October, will turn professional with the French squad.

Keep up to date with all the latest men’s domestic transfers here.

Banks affected by Équipe Paule Ka closure

Lizzy Banks, a stage winner at the Giro Rosa, has been left without a team after the sudden closure of the Équipe Paule Ka team.

The team, formerly known as Bigla-Katusha, was saved from closing earlier in the year by French fashion firm Paule Ka which signed a four-year deal to sponsor the squad.

However, a lack of payment from the company since August has forced the team to close down.

Team management said in a statement: “This is an extremely sad moment in the 15-year history of this squad, which prides itself on the development of exciting young talent within the peloton. The team’s riders and staff were looking forward to spending several more years together in the pursuit of sportive success.

“However, this can regrettably no longer be our shared goal, with the team being forced to dissolve after a decade and a half in the peloton. Now, our main aim is to find both riders and staff new teams to secure their futures.” 

On an Instagram post, Banks herself vowed to ‘fight again’ as she is left looking for a new team to continue her impressive rate of development.

View this post on Instagram

Walking away from my teammates and writing this post hurts a lot but I want to explain to you all what is going on. The news is official that my team, @equipe_pauleka will close and that we will not be participating in any more races this season. No Flanders. No De Panne. As fans of the sport you all deserve to know what's going on. The truth is that this has been an incredibly difficult two weeks. We learned at the beginning of last week that @paulekaofficiel, who committed to three and a half years of sponsorship, only paid one instalment in July and as of this moment, the team is waiting for the rest, and because of this the team was simply unable to manage any further financial commitments of racing. That's pretty much the whole story that there is to tell. I really hope everyone from this talented group finds a new job and a new team that believes in them the same way that this project believed in all of us. I started my European career in January last year as a total nobody. I was so green, my knowledge of race craft was very limited. I can't believe how much I've progressed over the past 2 seasons, my highlights of course being 2 stage wins of the Giro Rosa, taking 2nd in Plouay WWT and another 24 top 10s. Results aside, my personal development in to the team captain and road captain is one of the things I'm most proud of and having played a role in the development of all the athletes on this team and played a part in creating a culture of succesful teamwork which has taken us to the 4th best team in the world. Another sad day but I am a fighter and I will fight again.

A post shared by Lizzy Banks (@elizzybanks) on

Henderson joins Jumbo-Visma Women

Anna Henderson has been confirmed as one of the first 12 riders at Jumbo-Visma’s new Womens team, which is being launched in time for 2021.

The team, being run by former Parkhotel Valkenburg manager Esra Tromp, will start out at UCI Level for its first season and will see Henderson – who has ridden for Team Sunweb this season – joined by riders including three-time Road World Champion Marianne Vos.

Henderson has signed a two-year deal with the squad, which she confirmed on Twitter.

You can keep track of the all the female domestic transfers and renewals here.

Team news

Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy riders announced

British Cycling has confirmed the riders who will train on the Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy Programme for the forthcoming season. On the endurance side, there are several changes in both the men’s and women’s teams.

On the men’s team, four incredibly talented juniors join the squad: Bob Donaldson, Oscar Nilsson-Julien, Jack Rootkin-Gray and Oli Stockwell. Ethan Vernon steps up to the Olympic Podium Programme, as he’d announced in our interview with him. Joining a road team could also be an option for him in 2021. A core of five riders continues from 2020, with just Zach Bridges and Xeno Young (who only switched licences from Ireland to GB last year) leaving the British Cycling set-up.

Picture by Pauline Ballet/ – 27/09/2019 – Cycling – 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Women’s Junior Road Race – Yorkshire, England – Abi Smith of Great Britain.

On the women’s side, Eluned King, Sophie Lewis and Abi Smith all join the Senior Academy, while Josie Knight moves up to the Podium Programme. Two riders leave the team. Anna Docherty will ride for the Belgian Isorex-No Aqua team, whilst Anna Shackley will join the top-tier SD Worx team.

You can read more here.

Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling continues as a Continental team

Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling confirmed that it will continue as a UCI Continental team in 2021, the first British team to officially confirm their status for next year. The team says that it has attracted ‘some exciting new partners and riders to be announced soon’.


2021 men’s domestic squads starting to shape up

With transfers being confirmed faster than we can type them, The British Continental is taking an early look at what shape Britain’s teams could be in heading into 2021.

Read the latest on what we know, and what we think will happen, here. We’re also working on similar guides for both women’s and junior teams.

Wales Racing Academy open for applications

The Wales Racing Academy has announced it is taking applications for 2020-21. You can find out more here.

Featured photo: Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos-Grenadier) wins stage 15 of the 103rd Giro d’Italia (2.UWT) stage 15 © CorVos/