If 2017 was the year that Chris Froome entered cycling’s history books as one of cycling’s greats, 2018 is already setting the stage for a new generation of superstars. It’s an exciting time for the people in this list, all of whom are making the step up to the top tier of their sport.
Chris Lawless – Team Sky
Team Sky continue to prove their commitment to home grown talent by signing 21-year-old Chris Lawless from the talent factory that is the Axeon Hagens Berman team, which is not surprising given his already enviable palmarès. The current British u23 national champion also has an impressive Tour de l’Avenir stage win under his belt, setting him up nicely for the next phase of his career. He will be in good company at Sky with fellow new signings and l’Avenir stage winners Pavel Sivakov and Egan Bernal.
Lawless will be swapping his team issue S-Works Tarmac Pro Race for Sky’s Pinarello F10 Dogma – not that he’ll be complaining. Whilst Froomey’s four Tour wins might look an impressive number, Pinarello claims the title of of the most decorated bicycle manufacturer in Tour de France history, with a staggering 11 overall victories. The good news is that Pinarello’s Tour conquering pedigree is not the exclusive luxury of Team Sky. You too can get your hands on the aerodynamic efficiency and iconic Italian design, all without requiring you to take out a second mortgage.
James Knox – Quick-Step Floors
Fellow Brit and former Team Wiggins rider James Knox is also entering the World Tour ranks this year with the Belgian superteam, Quick-Step Floors. Knox made his mark at Continental level and has enjoyed a hugely successful 2017, capped by an impressive second place in the u23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and winning the attention of Quick-Step thanks to his mature attitude and commitment to the sport.
While Lawless swaps Specialized for Pinarello, Knox will be doing the reverse and riding the S-Works Tarmac, a model which Specialized claims is the fastest racing bike in the peloton – quite something to live up to! Since its launch, the S-Works Tarmac has excelled itself, with two World Championship titles and wins in all three Grand Tours now part of its impressive resume. Built using Specialized Patented Rider-First Engineered technology, the frame has been designed with comfort as well as performance in mind. Exceptional responsiveness when both climbing and descending make this a bike every rider should take for a spin at least once, and with a saving of 32% on the Di2 2017 model, who can say no?
Molly Weaver – Drops Cycling
The Brits are getting in on the action for the 2018 Women’s season too, with the highly regarded Molly Weaver joining Drops from Team Subweb. Weaver is keen to start the new season in a positive frame of mind after a crash-marred 2017. Doctors were amazed when she rolled up to the start line of the Giro Rosa just six months after the horrific collision which not only threatened her career, but her life too. Weaver’s inspirational come back should serve her well as she takes on the role of road captain with her new team.
Drops have teamed up with Trek to kit out their riders, which seems fitting given the commitment the US bicycle manufacturer has shown to women’s cycling over the last two decades. Trek were the first major cycle company to develop a line of women’s specific bikes, steering well clear of the stereotypical ‘shrink and pink’ approach, instead providing a range of lean and mean machines with some serious high performance pedigree. The 2018 Domane AI3 Female is a case in point with its carbon forks and Shimano components, all wrapped up in a sleek looking bike with comfortable geometry to suit a range of abilities.
The pro season may seem a distant dream as the nights draw in so why not get inspired by the new crop of British talent and take to the roads on a bike worthy of their star status?