Team Ineos have signed triathlete Cameron Wurf as a replacement for Vasil Kiryienka, who announced his retirement yesterday due to a cardiac issue.
36-year-old Wurf was previously a WorldTour rider, racing for Cannondale up until 2014, before deciding to switch to competing in triathlon events.
The Australian will make his debut for Ineos at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday February 2, being drafted in late after Kiryienka’s early retirement vacated a spot in the British squad.
Ineos say Wurf will race for the team across the first part of the season before he switches back to focus on triathlon training as he looks to target the Ironman World Championships in October.
Wurf has regularly trained with Ineos riders since 2017, often going out on rides with Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, and Pavel Sivakov. He is also coached by Tim Kerrison, Ineos’ head coach.
Commenting on the announcement, Wurf said: “We’ve tried a number of different approaches to my training and racing over the past few years and I’ve been getting better and faster as a result. This is an evolution of that approach. Since I’ve been competing in Ironman, everyone has started riding a lot faster, but they’re also still running just as fast. This move will allow me to stay on the front foot because the bike is my strongest discipline.
“I’m focused on Kona in October but there’s also an opportunity to be of use to the team when needed before that. I know lots of people in the team and have trained with many of the riders, and I feel like I fit in with the culture here.
“This is an organisation I’ve dreamt of being part of since it started and it’s amazing to officially pull on the colours. I am really excited and proud to represent Team INEOS.”
Tim Kerrison added: “Cameron will be joining the team to continue to pursue his Ironman career. The combination of his physical strength and versatility on the bike, his flexible schedule, and past experience racing at WorldTour level makes this an interesting and unique proposition for the team and for Cameron.
“For the first part of the season he will be always ready and available to race as required, while for the months leading into Kona his focus will shift back to Ironman, with the aim of improving on last year’s fifth place with the full support of the team.”
Vasil Kiryienka called time on his 15-year career in the pro peloton after medical advice concerning a cardiac issue. The Belarussian previously missed the start of the 2019 season due to a cardiac anomaly before returning to racing at the Tour de Romandie.
The 38-year-old called it “a really sad day for me” while Ineos boss Dave Brailsford said the decision was tough to take but “obviously the right one”, wishing his rider, who he signed in 2013, all the best for the future.