There will be plenty of new faces to get used to in the WorldTour in 2020, with 106 riders set to make the step up into cycling’s highest tier.
As British talents contend to make headlines around the world for their outstanding performances on the bike, a new crop of emerging riders will also be announcing themselves in the WorldTour this year.
Alongside additions to the men’s WorldTour, the UCI have made changes to women’s racing which will see women’s teams given WorldTour status for the first time, meaning there are women from Britain who have signed contracts with the new Women’s WorldTour squads.
There are eight riders from the British Isles joining WorldTour teams next season, with Movistar, Bahrain-McLaren, Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, Lotto-Soudal and Team Ineos all signing a homegrown debutant.
Here are all the Brits making the move to the WorldTour for 2020:
1. Elynor Backstedt
One of the most exciting British talents for 2020 is Elynor Backstedt.
The 18-year-old wowed home crowds at the World Championships in Yorkshire when she took third in the junior time trial and fifth in the junior road race.
Those results followed victory on the junior Ghent-Wevelgem and two stages plus the overall of the Omloop van Borsele stage race in the Netherlands.
Backstedt, daughter of Classics hero Magnus, is joining Trek-Segafredo where she will ride alongside British legend Lizzie Deignan.
2. Alfred Wright – Bahrain-McLaren
Fred Wright has joined a team with a new British flavour for 2020, Bahrain-McLaren.
Wright will be in the perfect environment to develop, as his new team is now run by Rod Ellingworth, who ran the British Cycling Academy and coached stars like Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas in their younger years.
The 20-year-old Wright has been building a set of strong results for such a young rider, including winning a stage and finishing second overall in the 2.2-ranked Ronde de l’Oise in 2018 and finishing fifth in the elite men’s British Championships that year behind Connor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic).
Last season he scored a stage victory in the Baby Giro and then the Tour de l’Avenir, taking a seven-rider sprint from a breakaway.
Wright already has some WorldTour experience, having ridden as a stagiare with CCC Team in late 2019.
Bahrain-McLaren have yet to confirm his first race with his new team, but we are eagerly awaiting his debut.
3. Mark Donovan – Sunweb
Donovan, from Penrith in Cumbria, had a strong showing in the 2018 Baby Giro, taking a podium finish on stage six and ending up fourth overall.
The former Wiggins-Le Col rider found himself with a pro Sunweb contract as the team folded at the end of 2019.
He also has previous experience at WorldTour level, having ridden for Team Sky as a stagiaire in 2018.
In 2019, he rode the Tour of Britain and held his own against some tough competition, finishing 33rd overall.
4. Gabriel Cullaigh – Movistar
Another Wiggins-Le Col alumni in the WorldTour this year is Gabriel Cullaigh.
The 23-year-old hopes to be a Classics specialist during his career and has joined Spanish squad Movistar, which will give him the opportunity to race some significant one-day events early in his career.
Last year Cullaigh picked up some hugely impressive results, winning a stage of the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal, finishing fifth in the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.
Cullaigh is kicking things off early with his new steam, starting at the Tour Down Under on January 21.
5. Anna Henderson
One rider to make a splash in 2019 was Anna Henderson, who has proven herself a formidable time triallist.
The 23-year-old won the under-23 British Time Trial Championships last season and finished 10th in the U23 European Championships TT.
Henderson also formed part of the inaugural British squad for the mixed relay time trial at the World Championships in Yorkshire, helping her team to a bronze medal.
This year she has joined Sunweb, where she will join fellow Brit Pfeiffer Georgi and star sprinter Coryn Rivera.
6. Ethan Hayter
South London born rider Ethan Hayter has quickly become one of the brightest prospects to hail from these isles in recent year, winning multiple national track titles and taking silver in the Madison in a track World Cup last year.
The 21-year-old is also an emerging star on the road, winning two stages of Baby Giro and a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir last year, also finishing sixth in the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire against some big names.
That talent couldn’t be missed, so Team Ineos have snapped up Hayter early and will add him to their ever-evolving roster of British talent.
7. Charlie Quarterman
Charlie Quarterman has rapidly made a name for himself as a time trial talent, winning the under-23 British Time Trial Championships last season, where he beat Hayter by 44 seconds.
He also came third in stage eight of the Baby Giro, showing his versatility, and then went on to 14th in the U23 time trial at the Worlds in Yorkshire.
For 2020, Quarterman is joining Trek-Segafredo after rounding out 2019 with a stagiare opportunity riding for the team.
8. Matthew Holmes
A rider making the jump up to WorldTour slightly later is Matthew Holmes.
Holmes has ridden for Madison-Genesis since 2014 and made the step up as the Continental team came to a end at the close of 2019.
Holmes will be racing for Lotto-Soudal this season, where he joins fellow Madison-Genesis team-mate and former Team Sky rider Jon Dibben.
The 26-year-old has a string of strong results, including fourth in the Tokyo 2020 Test Event and sixth overall in the Tour de Yorkshire last year.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1