One Pro Cycling owner Matt Prior is aiming to make Grand Tours and Classics in the 2017 season

One Pro Cycling team owner Matt Prior is targeting entry to a Grand Tour in 2017, but insists the priority for next season is on winning races and developing young riders for the future.

If their application to the second-tier UCI Pro Continental Tour for the 2016 season is successful, One will be eligible for invites to WorldTour races, such as the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix.

But Prior said he feels that next year is too soon for his team to step up to the very highest level of the sport.

Prior told Sky Sports: “We want to be in Grand Tours very soon. We are not ready next year, but as early as 2017, we will be looking to step up again.”

While ONE, which was set up in autumn 2014 with the ambitious goal of reaching the WorldTour within five years, are seemingly well ahead of schedule to meet their Grand Tour ambitions, Prior is realistic in his assessment of his team’s prospects for 2016 and thinks that racing against WorldTour teams will be enough of a challenge for the coming season.

“We are looking at WorldTour events [in 2016], so we are going to be racing not only against Pro Continental teams, but WorldTour teams as well,” Prior added.

“It’s going to be a huge learning curve, a steep learning curve, but it’s a hugely exciting time for One Pro Cycling.”

Matt Prior discusses his hopes for One Pro Cycling