America's great again: the new era of US bike racers

But can it last? The US finally has a clutch of star riders again, but is its top-level success built on solid foundations, asks Chris Marshall-Bell

Kuss headed up a spectacular team 1-2-3 at last year’s Vuelta
Kuss headed up a spectacular team 1-2-3 at last year’s Vuelta
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After a lull spanning almost a decade and a half, going back to the era of Lance Armstrong and his misbehaving compatriots, star-spangled riders representing the USA are once again in the ascendant. Whether it’s Sepp Kuss (Visma-Lease a Bike) winning the 2023 Vuelta a España, his team-mate Matteo Jorgensen triumphing in Paris- Nice and Dwars door Vlaanderen, or Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) winning on average once every six race days this season, the US has a plethora of riders on a number of different teams excelling across all terrains and distances. The question is, can it last?

Following in the wheel tracks of that standout trio, there’s even more talent: Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick- Step), 21, has been tipped to emulate Tom Boonen; Magnus Sheffield (Ineos Grenadiers), 22, has already claimed three pro victories; 2023 national champion Quinn Simmons (Lidl-Trek), just turned 23, has world-beating potential; Riley Sheehan (Israel-Premier Tech), also 23, won Paris-Tours as a stagiaire; while the baby faces of Sheehan’s team-mate Matthew Riccitello, 22, and AJ August (Ineos Grenadiers), 18, have both been backed to develop into a stage racing superpowers.

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.