In many ways 2018 has been a rough year for young riders.
With teams collapsing and talented riders losing their places ahead of the 2019 season, the professional peloton can be a rough ride for youngsters.
But which teams are backing youth over experience next season?
We compare the average ages of WorldTour teams to see which outfit is investing in the future.
With its ever-strong development squad, it might be no surprise that Germany’s Team Sunweb is set to be the youngest team in the peloton next season.
Sunweb head into the new year with a young roster and an average age of 25.8, according to Pro Cycling Stats.
Next year will be the third season running that Sunweb have been the youngest in the WorldTour, but they’re not sacrificing talent.
The youngest rider on the team will be the Swiss Marc Hirschi, the 20-year-old newly crowned Under-23 road world champion.
Also with youth on their side are Dutchman Sam Oomen, 23, Robert Power, also 23, and Søren Kragh Andersen, at 25.
The team’s star rider Tom Dumoulin one of the older riders at 28, while fellow Dutchman Roy Curvers is the teams oldest representative at 38.
Steve Cummings at the Volta a Catalunya 2018 (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
You might be able to guess at some of the older teams at WorldTour level next year.
Movistar for example fall at the other end of the scale, with an average age of 29.
But the Spanish outfit are just edged out of having the oldest average age by Dimension Data, at 29.1 years of age on average.
The South African team is made up of 12 riders over the age of 30, including Brits Mark Cavendish at 33 and Steve Cummings at 37.
Dimension Data bosses are adding to their roster of experienced riders next season, adding Italians Enrico Gasparotto (36) an Giacamo Nizzolo (29) to the books.
The team’s oldest rider is 38-year-old Lars Bak, while the youngster is Gino Mäder at 21.
One team worth mentioning is Quick-Step Floors, which becomes Deceuninck-Quick Step next season.
Often renowned for their ability to discover and improve young riders, 2019 sees the team racing with an older unit compared to 2018.
This season, the Belgian team were the second youngest group in the peloton, at 26.4, but the average age jumps to 27.5 next year, making them the eighth youngest.
Team Sky’s average age is also taking a jump between seasons, from third youngest at 26.9 this year to fifth at 27.4.
Average team age for the 2019 season
1. Team Sunweb – 25.8
2. EF Education First–Drapac – 27
3. Jumbo – 27.2
4. UAE Team Emirates – 27.3
5. Team Sky – 27.4
6. Lotto-Soudal – 27.4
7. Katusha-Alpecin – 27.48
8. Deceuninck-Quick Step – 27.5
9. Astana – 27.5
10. Groupama-FDJ – 27.8
11. AG2R-La Mondiale – 27.9
12. Mitchelton-Scott – 28.2
13. Trek-Segafredo – 28.3
14. BORA-Hansgrohe – 28.6
15. Bahrain-Merida – 28.6
16. CCC Tem – 28.9
17. Movistar – 29
18. Dimension Data – 29.1
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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.
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