The Jayco-Alula staff held their staff presentation in Adelaide on the eve of the Tour Down Beneath, highlighting their Australian roots and DNA and indicating their intentions to kick-off 2023 and the brand new three-year WorldTour biking with early success and a haul of UCI rating factors of their residence race.
Jayco-Alula have been one among half a dozen groups caught up within the battle to keep away from relegation from the WorldTour in 2022 and they don’t wish to be in the same place going ahead. Crew proprietor Gerry Ryan has promised to fund the staff for an extra three years, together with his Jayco camper van model changing his BikeExchange firm as title sponsor for the staff’s twelfth season on the highest stage.
Saudi Arabian vacationer vacation spot AlUla has stepped-up as a second title sponsor to share the monetary burden, with Large the essential bike sponsor for a second yr.
Gerry Ryan admitted to Cyclingnews in Adelaide that Jayco-AlUla doesn’t have the price range to compete with the tremendous groups and so win the Tour de France however they’re bold as a brand new chapter for the staff begins.
“We’ve maybe bought the strongest staff we’ve had for 3 or 4 years,” Ryan stated throughout the staff presentation.
“A staff is all concerning the folks. If you happen to encompass your self with the precise folks, who’ve the eagerness for what they do, the success will come. It’s all the time onerous to win, so we should always treasure each victory massive or small in each the lads’s and ladies’s staff. They’re all essential.”
The additional sponsorship has allowed the staff to bolster its rider and employees for 2023, with long-time lead directeur sportif Matt White stepping right into a Head of Efficiency function throughout each the lads’s and ladies’s groups.
Michael Matthews and Simon Yates prolonged their contracts throughout 2022 and are once more the pure leaders of the staff in 2023.
Matthews confirmed his abilities by profitable a stage on the Tour de France and going shut on a number of different events. He’ll once more lead Jayco-AlUla within the Classics and sprints, whereas Yates will return to the Tour de France, maybe taking purpose on the general classification and positively focusing on levels. Dylan Groenwegen stays because the staff’s lead sprinter, nearly guaranteeing a haul of wins.
Jayco-AlUla modified a 3rd of their roster for 2023 as they used their confirmed funding to rebuild for the long run. Ten riders moved on and ten new riders got here on board. Seven Australians left, together with sprinter Kaden Groves, Damien Howson and Alex Edmondson, with 22-year-old sprinter Blake Fast, Chris Harper from Jumbo-Visma and Rudy Porter the brand new Australian arrivals. The staff is extra worldwide however nonetheless speaks with an Aussie accent and nonetheless races with Aussie swagger.
Eddie Dunbar was a key signing from Ineos Grenadiers and can doubtless lead Jayco-AlUla on the Giro d’Italia and in some weeklong stage races. Italian nationwide champion Filippo Zana additionally has appreciable stage race potential, whereas veterans Alessandro De Marchi, Lukas Pöstlberger and Zdenek Stybar carry expertise and high quality to the roster.
Crew supervisor Brent Copeland is cautiously optimistic for 2023 after the staff’s success in 2022.
“We now have loads of objectives for 2023. We had a profitable 2022 with 22 wins and stage victories in all three Grand Excursions. Not many groups obtain that nowadays,” Copeland identified.
“We now have the roster to have a profitable season once more. A Classics win could be particular and we’d be pleased with different Grand Tour stage wins and the same 22-win haul.”
Concentrating on a house win on the Tour Down Beneath
The Tour Down Beneath is all the time a serious for Jayco-AlUla. It’s their ‘residence’ WorldTour race and is essential for Gerry Ryan, the sponsors and early-season staff morale. A haul of UCI factors would additionally instantly elevate the staff within the new WorldTour factors race. Everybody on the staff is glad the Tour Down Beneath is again after an enforced two-year COVID-19 absence.
That’s why Matthews is again on the Tour Down Beneath after a decade away specializing in getting ready for the spring Classics, and why Simon Yates arrived in Australia ten days earlier than the race to organize within the Adelaide Hills.
The staff are rigorously avoiding including additional stress on their shoulders however each are extensively anticipated to be general contenders.
Matthews might even win the prologue time trial on Tuesday, whereas Yates has the climbing capacity to be there if the race turns selective within the Adelaide Hills and particularly on the decisive last stage to Mount Lofty, that has over 3000-metres of climbing in simply 112km of racing.
Their very own weak point might be the anticipated excessive temperatures for the early levels however the warmth can even create a extra subdued, extra managed race for everybody.
“It is an honour to come back again after loads of years away and I imply, doing my factor abroad after which coming again and nonetheless getting some large assist on the facet of the roads from Aussie followers,” Matthews stated after ending third on the Australian nationwide championships.
“This yr we wish to change issues up just a little bit after loads of years of COVID-19 and never having the ability to journey and the occasions not being on. However now it is on full fuel, so we’re again right here with all weapons blazing.”
An early-season peak might compromise Matthew’s type for the Classics and Yates’ possibilities within the spring stage races however going all in for the Tour Down Beneath is a calculated danger Jayco-Alula have determined to make.
They’re smart to take action. Total victory and even perhaps Matthews and Yates on the ultimate podium could be equal and even greater than profitable a stage on the Tour de France and be the very best solution to begin 2023.
Different storylines to comply with in 2023
Dylan Groenwegen will once more give Jayco-AlUla an essential presence in dash finishes. The Dutchman was a shock signing for 2022 however received seven sprints, together with stage three on the Tour de France and two levels on the Saudi Tour, that absolutely helped safe AlUla as a title sponsor for 2023.
Groenewegen’s win on the Tour was his first since Fabio Jakobsen’s horrible crash on the Tour de Pologne and marked his return to the best stage. There are fewer and fewer alternatives for the sprinters however Groenwegen is bound to take a few of them in 2023.
Eddie Dunbar is a intelligent signing by Jayco-AlUla and reveals they spent the funds they’d properly. The Irishman was on the lookout for the alternatives his abilities deserve however had few possibilities at Ineos Grenadiers.
His success on the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali stage race was a sign of his capacity and he’s suited to different hilly WorldTour stage races. Dunbar has solely ridden one Grand Tour and no person is anticipating him to problem Remco Evenepoel on the Giro d’Italia however there is no such thing as a motive why he can’t end within the high 5 general.
Each profitable staff has an skilled, dependable core and Jayco-AlUla have been smart to signal Zdenek Stybar, Lukas Pöstlberger and Alessandro De Marchi for 2023. All three may be previous their finest, however like Australians Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn, they’re nonetheless motivated, skilled and able to share their information with their youthful teammates.
Jayco-AlUla’s roster features a host of fascinating riders who can take alternatives after they come up, reminiscent of Italian nationwide champion Filippo Zana, former Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero, the USA’s Lawson Craddock, Luka Mezgec, Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia and new Australian criterium nationwide champion Kelland O’Brien.