Harrison Jones has signed for Alberto Contador‘s U23 team, while fellow Brit Charlie Quarterman will ride for a Luxembourg Continental outfit next season.
Jones, 19, rode for Pedal Heaven in 2016 but has been recruited by RH/Polartec U23, the development team set up in 2012 by seven-time Grand Tour winner Contador and his brother Fran.
Eighteen-year-old Quarterman, who in February this year won the Spanish Circuito del Guadiana race as well as its sprint, KOM and combativity prize, will join Leopard CT U23 from Zappi’s. He most recently came third on GC in the three-day Italian race Giro di Basilicata.
The move to Madrid will see Jones compete across Europe and in Spain, and that was the motivating factor behind his decision,
“The races and opportunites was the main attraction for me,” he told Cycling Weekly. “They do a lot of U23 races, starting with one-day and then stage races, and they’re the races I want to be doing.
“It’s a very busy calendar racing across Europe which is a big thing for me, and for a young rider it’s important to be doing that. It seems like a perfect match for what both parties are looking for.”
Despite his own racing commitments for Trek-Segafredo, Contador will be present at team training camps and at certain races in which Jones will ride.
“The team have a base in Madrid and Alberto stays there a fair bit so he’ll get out training with the riders and mingle with them as much as possible,” Jones added.
“He’ll also try to help us with contacts for the future as the team’s aim is to develop riders to make it to the top.”
The rise of Hugh Carthy, who has spent the last two years racing for Spanish team Caja-Rural before moving to WorldTeam team Cannondale-Drapac, is an example which Jones will try and mimic.
“Hugh is a different rider to me, he’s a total mountain guy, whereas I am a little more explosive, but someone like him I look up to,” he said. “It’s good to see his progression. I look at guys like that and think that is the path I would like to go down.”
Quarterman is the latest British rider to move abroad as a result of successful spells racing in Belgium under the tutelage of John Barclay’s South East team, whose alumni includes Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and most recently James Shaw.
“I am very excited about joining Leopard Pro Cycling,” the Oxfordshire teenager said. “It’s a well-known team with a diverse calendar in which I can find out which races suit me best.
“In 2017 I want to learn how to race in the U23 races, but I also will try to finish on a podium place.”