Heavyweight boxing star Anthony Joshua has announced with management company 258MGT that they have created a cycling agency called 258 Protégé, which already has some great riders on the books.
Joshua isn't exactly the first person who comes to mind when it comes to being a cycling agent, but has already signed riders Leo Hayter (DSM), Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB), Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) and more.
The agency's riders have made some significant moves already, as Gigante jumps up to the WorldTour to joins Movistar Team for the 2022 season from Tibco-SVB, while Finn Fisher-Black has joined UAE Team Emirates as a stagiaire from the Team Jumbo-Visma development squad.
In a press release, Joshua said: "This is a very exciting venture for our business and we will back [agency founder] Jamie Barlow 100 per cent. Entering a new sport is a big decision for us and one we are highly motivated to achieve the same level of success we have had in boxing.
"We look forward to working with elite talent that share our vision. When I turned professional, I worked hard to build a world-class team around me that manage all aspects of my career from commercial opportunities to my sport-related business. Fortunately, we are now in a position to offer this team to elite level cyclists in order to maximize their own career potential on and off the bike."
All the riders currently announced on the books are Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates), Australian time trial champion Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB), Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), Oscar Nilsson Julien (British Cycling Academy), Leo Hayter (Team DSM), and the first black South African to ride the Tour de France, Nic Dlamini (Team Qhubeka-NextHash).
Agency founder, Jamie Barlow said in a press release: "We are in a unique position to disrupt the market and challenge the current shortfalls of the commercial elements of the sport & utilize the full support of the team 258MGT has built around AJ across legal, financial, PR and branding industry leaders.
"Having identified and worked with some of the best young talent the past eight years, WorldTour, Women’s World Tour, Pro Continental and Devo teams trust our opinion on talent. Outside of the cycling bubble we are the best connected commercial agency barring none."
This isn't the first sports agency to branch out into cycling as agent of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jorge Mendes moved into pro cycling when his company bought Corso last year with the likes of João Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo) involved.
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Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!
I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.
After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.
When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.
My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.
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