Six young riders to watch in 2024

There's a raft of new talent on the men's and women's WorldTours this season

Collage of Antonia Niedermaier, Cian Uijtdebroeks and Puck Pieterse
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With each new cycling season, comes an opportunity for riders to impress, particularly those at the start of their careers. 

Last year, we forecast success for the likes of Josh Tarling, Zoe Bäckstedt, Niamh Fisher-Black and Mattias Skjelmose. We don't want to suggest we're psychic, but all of them added to their victory tallies.

Here are six promising talents we think will leave their mark on the upcoming season. 

Cian Uijtdebroeks (Visma-Lease a Bike)

Cian Uijtdebroeks at the Vuelta a España

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There was a lot of clamour around Cian Uijtdebroeks' transfer to Visma-Lease a Bike last month, and for good reason, too. 

The Belgian, still only 20 years old, has the semblance of being a future Grand Tour champion. He won the Tour de l'Avenir in 2022 - a race previously won by Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogačar - and finished an impressive eighth at last year's Vuelta a España

Now, with Primož Roglič leaving Visma-Lease a Bike, there's space for a new GC leader in the squad, and the path looks paved for Uijtdebroeks. 

His "main goal" this year will be the Giro d'Italia. "I'm really looking forward to that race," he said at his new team's recent presentation. "We want to win stages as a team. Personally, I want to ride a good classification."

Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck)

Puck Pieterse in Dutch national champions kit at a cyclo-cross race

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fans of cyclo-cross will already be familiar with Puck Pieterse, but get ready to see the 21-year-old on the road more in 2024. 

According to her team manager, Philip Roodhoft, the Dutchwoman will ride a more extensive calendar this year, as she builds towards the cross-country mountain bike event at the Paris Olympics.  

Pieterse impressed at Strade Bianche last March, finishing fifth in what was her first WorldTour race. How many more she'll do this season is uncertain, but expect her to shine whenever she's on the start line. 

Antonia Niedermaier (Canyon-Sram)

Antonia Niedermaier in a rainbow jersey holding a Highland coo soft toy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Antonia Niedermaier is at the forefront of a generation of young talents coming through Canyon-Sram. 

The German became the under-23 time trial world champion last summer, and then went on to finish second at the European Championships, behind trade team-mate Bäckstedt

The 20-year-old's skills aren't limited only to time trialling, though. She's also a solid climber, holding off Annemiek van Vleuten to win a stage of the Giro d'Italia Donne last year, and placing fourth overall at the Tour de l'Avenir. 

Jack Rootkin-Gray (EF Education-EasyPost)

Jack Rootkin-Gray of Saint Piran after finishing second in the 2023 Beaumont Trophy

(Image credit: Craig Zadoroznyj/SWpix.com)

After impressing in the British domestic scene last season, 21-year-old Jack Rootkin-Gray earned himself a dream WorldTour contract with EF Education-EasyPost

His path through the ranks has not been straightforward. A former member of the British Cycling programme, Rootkin-Gray chose to drop out in 2022 to pursue his own career with Continental outfit Saint Piran.

"When I left, I was able to reframe everything and make a new start," he told Cycling Weekly in Glasgow last summer. "I always think you can split cyclists into two groups; Thinkers and doers. Some people like to just do as they're told, and some people like to think a bit more, and struggle to just do as they're told. I'd say I'm more of a thinker." 

Luke Lamperti (Soudal-Quick Step)

Luke Lamperti of the USA at the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships - Provincia di Treviso, Veneto

(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Joining Soudal Quick-Step for 2024, Luke Lamperti is billed as the next big thing in American cycling. 

The 21-year-old has spent the last few seasons with under-23 squad Trinity Racing, and now follows former teammates Ben Healy and Tom Gloag to the WorldTour. 

A punchy rider, Lamperti has excelled in criterium races. He's the current US national champion in the discipline - a title he has won three times - and claimed victory in the inaugural CRIT Championship in October, representing L39ION of Los Angeles. 

Expect to see him in the heart of the action this season. 

Izzy Sharp (Lidl-Trek)

Izzy Sharp descending in Lidl-Trek kit

(Image credit: Steel City / Lidl-Trek)

British teenager Izzy Sharp is one of five 18-year-olds who have joined Lidl-Trek for 2024, along with Australian Felicity Wilson-Haffenden, Belgian Fleur Moors and Canadian twins Ava and Isabella Holmgren. 

Sharp cut her teeth in the British time trialling scene, and finished runner-up against the clock in the junior race at last year's World Championships. 

Speaking to Cycling Weekly earlier this month, she said her focus in 2024 will be on developing as a rider, but ultimately has her sights on the biggest prizes. 

"I've always dreamed of [winning] Worlds, I think every cyclist does," Sharp said. "I think after getting second about five times, the drive's really there. Whether that's on the track or in the time trial, under-23 or elite, I want to win a Worlds."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1