Jon Dibben, who Team Sky confirmed in its roster today, says that his first road season in 2017 will be his biggest challenge yet.
Dibben, 22, just finished a busy track season. He took the points race gold medal in London and help Great Britain with a silver medal in the team pursuit. However, he broke his elbow and was overlooked for the Olympics.
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“I’d like to have a first full year on the road rather than track training and track prep, and bouncing around to a few road races,” Dibben told Cycling Weekly ahead of the contract deal. “Next year, it would be my first full year on the road.
“It’s not scary, but different. It’ll be good to have a different challenge. Over the last four years, anything on the road you do is a bonus and there’s not pressure. Everything is pinned on the track. It’d be nice to step away from that and have new targets on the road. It’ll be a whole new structure to the season.”
Dibben sprinkled in the road races with team Wiggins between his track duties. He placed second overall in Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux and second again to David Per in the Under 23 Tour of Flanders. He raced as a trainee for Cannondale in the Tour of Utah. At the Doha World Championships, he sprinted to ninth.
Instead of switching back to a fixed bike, Dibben will remain on Sky’s Pinarellos year round. The British WorldTour team could likely slot him into some of the UCI .1 one-day or stage races it participates in. He will be in good company, with other British neo-pros Owain Doull and Tao Geoghegan Hart.
“It will be a year of aiming to win races, to get wins. I know some of the races, I’ve done them already. It will be about getting consistency,” Dibben added.
“On the track, you are used to massive peaks, building up and building up, you are on the form of your life for a couple of weeks and then a big wrecked the week after. The next year will be about having good form throughout, having 90 per cent rather than 100 per cent and then 10 per cent.”
Earlier, he was considering moving from Manchester to Nice, France, or Girona, Spain. With the confirmation of a Team Sky contract on Tuesday, he could end up on the Côte d’Azur with many of the other Sky cyclists.
“The move from Manchester will be a big change for me,” he said. “Hopefully that whole pro life will help me step up. I’m up for it!”