An overview of the men’s domestic squads in 2022. This is a ‘live’ post that will be updated as team news emerges.
Our first installment sets out what we know about the squads of the British UCI Continental teams. We’ll add the squads of the national and elite teams over the coming days and weeks. A similar guide for domestic women’s teams is also under construction.
Latest update: 11 January 2022
There were six British UCI Continental men’s teams in 2020. Last year, that number went down to five. And this year it looks like there may only be four, with SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling’s survival looking more unlikely by the day.
Among the teams definitely continuing, there has been plenty of transfer activity over the winter. Three riders have stepped up to the WorldTour (Ben Healy, James Shaw and Ben Turner) – four if you count Dan Bigham’s switch to INEOS Grenadiers as a ‘race engineer’ – while three move the other way, stepping down from the WorldTour to the Continental ranks (Harry Tanfield, Gabz Cullaigh and Ben Perry).
Squad sizes are broadly the same across the teams: each squad has 16 riders, with the exception of Saint Piran with 15. Despite the uncertainty about the team’s future at the end of last season, WiV SunGod retain more of their 2021 squad – ten – than the other teams. The other teams have experienced more wholesale change, with TRINITY Racing keeping eight of last year’s squad, and Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling and Saint Piran re-signing seven. Of course, the biggest change of all will be the loss of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling if it happens.
A cloud of uncertainty hung over Tim Elverson‘s long-running team as the season neared its end, as a shortfall in sponsorship left Elverson unsure whether his project could continue. At the end of October, however, it was clear the team was safe for another year at least. The team brings in a new headline sponsor WiV Technology, a ‘blockchain-based wine investment platform’. (No, we don’t completely understand what that is either, but we intend to find out in due course!). SunGod, meanwhile, remains as co-title sponsor.
Despite the team’s uncertain future, there was no mass exodus of riders. The team retains ten of its 2021 squad, including three of the standout domestic riders of 2021: National Road Series winner Jacob Scott, Tour de la Mirabelle stage winner Rory Townsend, and sprinter Matt Bostock, who bagged three top tens in .1 races last year.
All of the six departing riders will no doubt be missed by the team, none more so than climber Max Stedman, who had been with the outfit for the entirety of his senior career. He moves to Flavio Zappi’s new UCI Continental team Colors for Peace – Mg. K Vis, in search of a race programme better suited to his uphill aptitude.
The team brings in six able replacements, however. These include two of the revelations of the 2021 National Road Series, Lancaster Grand Prix winner Josh Whitehead, and Toby Barnes, both under-23s. The outstanding Matt Gibson also joins the team; WiV SunGod’s race programme should suit his talents and if he can continue his good form from 2021, we believe there is no reason the former Burgos-BH rider can’t bounce back to the ProTeam, or even WorldTour, ranks in 2023.
Perhaps the most intriguing signing, however, is the arrival of Canadian Ben Perry from Astana-PremierTech. The 27-year-old spent four years with the Israel Cycling Academy before his move to Astana and counts a stage win and second on GC at the Tour de Korea in 2019 among his strongest results to date.
Squad size: 16
In: Toby Barnes (Crimson Orientation Marketing RT), Matt Gibson (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Gruff Lewis (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Benjamin Perry (CAN, Astana – PremierTech), Matthew Teggart (IRL, V.C.Villefranche Beaujolais), Josh Whitehead (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)
Re-signed: Matt Bostock, Jim Brown, Damien Clayton, Euan MacLeod, Thomas Mein, Jacob Scott, Robert Scott, Rory Townsend (IRL), Oliver Wood, Reece Wood
Departures: Ryan Christensen (NZL, Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling), Callum MacLeod (ABLOC CT), Max Stedman (Color for Peace – Mg. K Vis), Charlie Tanfield (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Andy Tennant (Retired), Dan Tulett (Unknown)
It’s all change at Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling in 2022 with no less than nine riders joining the long-running team from the North East, and nine riders departing. While the departures include the team’s biggest performers in 2021, the arrivals include WorldTour calibre talents.
Let’s start with those leaving the team. James Shaw earns a well-deserved return to the WorldTour after an outstanding 2021, joining EF Education-EasyPost. The team’s other standout performer from last year, Matt Gibson, jumps across to WiV SunGod. Engineering wizard and British hour record holder Dan Bigham departs for Ineos Grenadiers for a new role as ‘race engineer’. Other departures include Scot Mark Stewart, who has been busy making a name for himself at the New Zealand Cycle Classic, and Return to Racing for Big Dogs winner Theo Obholzer, who joins Saint Piran after just six months with Ribble Weldtite.
There are plenty of eye-catching names among the newbies. The headline is unquestionably the capture of the Tanfield brothers, Harry and Charlie. Harry – who nearly joined the team last season – will be keen to use the season to bounce back to the WorldTour. Charlie, meanwhile, will have a lot to prove on the road after focusing on the track in the last few years. We’re excited to see how Alex Peters fares. He showed glimpses of his exceptional talent last year, including a win at Ryedale and a strong Tour of Britain performance. Finn Crockett was a breakthrough rider on the National Road Series last season, while Stuart Balfour is keen to use this opportunity to make his long-awaited breakthrough to the pro ranks.
The other new signings, Ollie Peckover, Red Walters, Ross Lamb and Matt King are all ones to watch in their own right too, and, under the careful stewardship of DS Colin Sturgess, are all capable of achieving breakthrough results this year.
Squad size: 16
In: Stuart Balfour (Swiss Racing Academy), Finn Crockett (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli), Matt King (Team PB Performance), Ross Lamb (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Ollie Peckover (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Alex Peters (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Charlie Tanfield (WiV SunGod), Harry Tanfield (Team Qhubeka NextHash), Red Walters (GRD, Hagens Berman Axeon)
Re-signed: William Brown, Cameron Jeffers, Richard Jones, Zeb Kyffin, Jack Rees, Jacob Tipper, Simon Wilson
Departures: Dan Bigham (‘Race engineer’ at INEOS Grenadiers), Matt Gibson (WiV SunGod), Gruff Lewis (WiV SunGod), Theo Obholzer (Saint Piran), Charles Page (Saint Piran), James Shaw (EF Education-NIPPO), Frederick Scheske (GER, Unknown), Mark Stewart (Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling), Joe Wilson (Dolan Ellesse Race Team)
Cornish-based team Saint Piran will begin their second season at the UCI Continental level with a strengthened squad. The team retains seven of last year’s squad, with eight new riders coming in.
Of those leaving, perhaps the biggest name is Saint Piran’s talisman, Steve Lampier, who will stay with the team as full-time manager. Riders staying with the team include Jacob Hennessy – a rider we once tipped for big things and still has the potential to win races – and the Mazzone brothers who have been consistent performers on the domestic scene for several years now. Older brother Tom even got Saint Piran their first UCI road race victory last season with a win at the Grand Prix de la Somme Conseil Départemental 80.
The team’s marquee arrival is undoubtedly Gabz Cullaigh, who joins after two years with Movistar. Dropping down to WorldTour level and then bouncing back again is a tactic that has worked in recent years for riders like James Shaw, and Cullaigh will be looking to emulate it. It’s a set-up that should certainly provide him with plenty of leadership opportunities and, with a solid race programme being developed, there is every chance Cullaigh could help the team to more UCI road race wins in 2022.
With the exception of veteran William Bjergfelt – the oldest rider in last year’s Tour of Britain – the rest of the new signings are riders whose potential has yet to be fulfilled. 22-year-old Jacob Vaughan is a rider we have followed closely at The British Continental but has been thwarted by injury and Covid over the last two years, so he’ll be looking to prove himself. Likewise, Theo Obholzer confesses he had a difficult second half of the season in 2021, but still has much promise to fulfill. The youngest of the signings, first-year under-23 Jake Crossley, had an excellent 2021, finishing 10th in the Junior Tour of Wales and 2nd in the Junior Tour of the Mendips; we’ll be interested to see how Saint Piran seek to nurture his talent.
Squad size: 15
In: William Bjergfelt (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Jake Crossley (Tofauti Everyone Active), Michael Gill (Saint Piran Development), Gabriel Cullaigh (Movistar), Oliver Hucks (Nopinz Motip Race Team), Theodor Obholzer (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Charles Page (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Jacob Vaughan (CC Étupes)
Re-signed: Stephen Bradbury, Jacob Hennessy, Ross Holland, Leon Mazzone, Tom Mazzone, Brad Symonds, Jenson Young
Departures: Conor Davies (Unknown), Tristan Davies (Unknown), Matt Ellis (SRCT MUC-OFF), Iwan Evans (Bikestrong-KTM), Joe Evans (Retired), Steve Lampier (Retired, becomes full-time team manager), Ollie Maxwell (SRCT MUC-OFF), Chris Opie (Retired)
Nothing is confirmed as we pen this, but the writing could well be on the wall for SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling. Established at the beginning of the 2019 season, the Yorkshire-based team is looking increasingly unlikely to continue in 2022. The team has been quiet on social media for some time (its last post on Instagram was on 18 November), and most of its key riders have either been confirmed with other teams or have retired.
Unknown: Alexander Braybrooke, Ben Hardy, Chris Latham, Darragh O’Mahoney, Tristan Robbins, Pete Williams
Departures: William Bjergfelt (Saint Piran), Owen James (Retired), Ross Lamb (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Mitchell McLaughlin (EvoPro Racing), Alex Peters (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Ollie Peckover (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Andrew Turner (Retired), Josh Whitehead (WiV SunGod)
Looking to build on its 2021 success on the road and trails, TRINITY Racing continues with its unique blend of road, mountain bike and cyclocross specialists, beginning the season with a 17 rider squad, including 16 males and one female (Chiara Teocchi).
Big names including Ben Healy and Ben Turner leave the squad for the WorldTour, but the team nonetheless retains a core of talent alongside some exciting new signings. Tom Gloag (4th in the Baby Giro and 3rd at the Ronde de l’Isard this season) and US pro criterium champion Luke Lamperti are arguably the standout names staying with the team, along with other promising riders such as Max Walker (8th overall in the Tour de la Mirabelle), Ollie Rees (3rd in the Ryedale Grand Prix) and Sam Culverwell.
The team welcomes eight new riders in total. Two are young British talents, first-year under-23s Aidan Lawrence and Lukas Nerurkar. Lawrence was 6th overall at the Junior Tour of Wales this year and bagged several other top ten results in Junior National Road Series events. Nerurkar, meanwhile, was 4th overall in the Junior Tour of Wales and also won a stage of the Junior Tour of Yorkshire.
The 2021 junior world cross-country MTB champion Adrien Boichis also joins the team together with the silver medallist from the same event, Colombian Camilo Gomez. Other new signings include Austrian duo Alexander Hajek (winner of multiple junior races in 2021) and Marco Schrettl (Austrian junior road race champion), Irish under-23 time trial champion Kevin McCambridge and Belgian Siebe Roesems. It’s a very strong young squad, one that should impress on the under-23 circuit in Europe this year.
Squad size: 16
In: Adrien Boichis (FRA), Camilo Gomez (COL), Alexander Hajek (AUT, Team Auto Eder), Aidan Lawrence (Fensham Howes – MAS Design), Kevin McCambridge (IRL, AVC Aix-en-Provence), Lukas Nerurkar (VC Londres), Siebe Roesems (BEL), Marco Schrettl (AUT, Team Auto Eder)
Re-signed: Sam Culverwell, Matthew Devins (IRL), Thomas Gloag, Luke Lamperti (USA), Cameron Mason, Alex Malacarne (BRA), Ollie Rees, Max Walker
Departures: Christopher Blevins (USA, Unknown), Ben Healy (IRL, EF Education-NIPPO), Ole Henrik Bang-Andreason (NOR, Unknown), Finley Newmark (IRL, Unknown), Blake Quick (AUS, Inform TMX MAKE), Rudy Porter (AUS, Inform TMX MAKE), Ben Turner (INEOS Grenadiers), Tosh Teare (JPN, Unknown), Richard Todd (Unknown), Carter Turnbull (AUS, Inform TMX MAKE)
Featured photo: Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com. 2021 National Road Series – The Ryedale Grasscrete Men’s Grand Prix 2021 – Ampleforth Abbey, Yorkshire.