James Shaw steps up to Professional Continental level

The 23-year-old is on his way back up after being dropped by Lotto-Soudal last season

(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

James Shaw is working his back up the ranks as he steps up to Professional Continental level next season.

The 23-year-old was left out in the cold by Lotto-Soudal at the end of the 2018, but things are looking up after a year racing on the British domestic scene.

During an interview with Cycling Weekly November 2018, Shaw said he “felt let down” after he was dropped from by the WorldTour squad, but is optimistic as he joins Professional Continental outfit Riwal-Readynez next season.

“I was young when I joined Lotto-Soudal and it didn’t quite work out, but I can definitely take everything I learned there with me in my career.

“I’m very excited to get back to professional level after a year on Continental level. I think this is a great opportunity for me and I feel very motivated and positive about the future with Riwal-Readynez.

Shaw joined Lotto in 2016 at just 20 years old, making him one of the youngest riders in the WorldTour.

He stepped up after two year’s with Lotto’s Under-23 development squad, picking up promising results in the youth categories.

Shaw won the junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2014, then finished fifth at the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, third at Flèche Ardennaise and tenth at the Tour of Normandy in 2016, but after almost three years the team decided not to renew his contract at the end of 2018.

His standout result last season came in Austria during the Under-23 World Championships road race where he finished 10th, just two days after being told he didn’t have a contract.

Shaw then took two steps down for 2019, joining SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling but continued to show huge promise in Britain, finishing fifth on the final stage of the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and taking fifth overall.

He now steps back up a level to join Danish team Riwal-Readynez.

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“I find that I keep changing a little bit every year,” Shaw said, “so it’s hard to put a specific definition on me, but I definitely prefer hilly terrain and smaller GC races, which is where I can get results.”

He added: “For the season, I’m looking forward to good morale and team spirit between the riders and staff. Hopefully we can get some great results.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.