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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