Team BikeExchange, to be named Team BikeExchange Jayco in 2022, has confirmed its 28-rider men’s roster for the coming season, as the squad looks to rebuild, with a focus on widespread wins.
“We can be very satisfied with the work that has been done this year by the performance staff, who have done an exceptional job together with the sport directors and technical staff,” General Manager Brent Copeland explained.
“Along with our team owner Gerry Ryan, who is deeply involved in these important team decisions, I truly believe we have done a detailed analysis of the past season and we are confident that the decisions have been made in the best interest of the team, both with regards to rider selections as well as team goals and ambitions.”
After various structural changes to the Australian outfit during the 2020 season, 2021 was a year of adjusting and developing, with the team now optimistic in its approach to its second decade of racing, as it looks to maximise opportunities and deliver consistent victories by utilising its diverse roster.
“Over the last two seasons our roster has changed, so we also need to do things differently and adapt,” Head Sport Director Matt White identified.
We have traditionally been a team that has won races across our roster from January to October and never relied on one star to deliver the majority of our wins. We did not achieve this in 2021 and it’s an area we will again focus on in 2022.
The Grand Tours are of course very important objectives, especially with leaders like Simon Yates and Michael Matthews, but in this rebuilding phase, winning races anywhere and everywhere is also crucial. With these changes in mind, we will alter some of our goals for the coming season, and that also involves adapting our style of racing when required.”
Injection of youth and power
For 2022, the team size will increase by one (28), and with seven new riders from seven different countries joining the Australian outfit, a balance of experience and youthful motivation will be key, as the squad embarks on its 11th season in the WorldTour peloton with high ambitions.
“We have a mix of young talent and experienced hands coming into the team next year,” White continued. “With two young world class track riders in Kelland O’Brien and Campbell Stewart, we will be transitioning them across to the WorldTour road ranks and they were specifically brought in to work with Kaden Groves, our developing sprint star. To have a young, developing sprint train around Kaden consistently, with riders of a similar age that can learn and win together, it is an area which we see as a great opportunity for us to gain wins in 2022.
Alex Balmer and Jesus David Peña are obviously great young talents, Balmer will continue at the highest level in the MTB world whilst continuing to develop as a world class road rider. Peña comes to us with little European exposure, largely due to COVID restrictions in his first two years out of the junior ranks, but we will help assimilate him into the European scene and we really believe in his raw talent.
Then in terms of experience, we are losing some of our older experienced guys, so replacing them with the right people was crucial. One is Lawson Craddock, who is renowned for being a reliable teammate across a variety of terrains. He has numerous years of experience at World Tour level but will also get the opportunity to challenge himself for personal objectives.
Matteo Sobrero, who pulled off one of the biggest time trial upsets of the year by beating World Champion Filippo Ganna to win the Italian Championships, also joins us with WorldTour pedigree as a support rider for big GC leaders. We also believe that Matteo can continue to reach new personal highs with us moving forward.
Then our final signing is Jan Maas, another rider who we are excited to have on board and continue his development. He has some great experience at continental level, and I am sure he will be of great value in the mountains in key races next year.”
Team BikeExchange Jayco for 2022:
- Alex Balmer (SWI, 21) New rider for 2022
- Jack Bauer (NZL, 36)
- Sam Bewley (NZL, 34)
- Lawson Craddock (USA, 29) New rider for 2022
- Kevin Colleoni (ITA, 22)
- Luke Durbridge (AUS, 30)
- Alex Edmondson (AUS, 27)
- Tsgabu Grmay (ETH, 30)
- Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 25)
- Michael Hepburn (AUS, 30)
- Damien Howson (AUS, 29)
- Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR, 27)
- Kaden Groves (AUS, 22)
- Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 32)
- Tanel Kangert (EST, 34)
- Alex Konychev (ITA, 23)
- Jan Maas (NED, 25) New rider for 2022
- Michael Matthews (AUS, 31)
- Cameron Meyer (AUS, 33)
- Luka Mezgec (SLO, 33)
- Kelland O’Brien (AUS, 23) New rider for 2022
- Jesús David Peña (COL, 21) New rider for 2022
- Callum Scotson (AUS, 25)
- Nick Schultz (AUS, 27)
- Dion Smith (NZL, 28)
- Matteo Sobrero (ITA, 24) New rider for 2022
- Campbell Stewart (NZL, 23) New rider for 2022
- Simon Yates (GBR, 29)
2022 Team BikeExchange Jayco Men’s squad stats:
- No. of riders: 28
- No. of Australians: 11
- No. of internationals: 17 (4x NZL, 3x ITA, 1x SWI, 1x COL, 1x DEN, 1x SLO, 1x EST, 1x NOR, 1x ETH, 1x USA, 1x NED, 1x GBR)
- Youngest rider: Alex Balmer (21)
- Oldest rider: Jack Bauer (36)
- Average age: 27.6