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.
“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.”