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Learning the ropes: a pick of the 2018 season’s stagiaires

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It’s that time of year where riders jump-ship, are poached and the interns are brought in. Each day the headlines narrate shock moves, the stayers and the new blood coming through. Here’s a roundup of the 2018 stagiaires

Photographs: Offside - L'Equipe
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 23/06/2018 - British Cycling - HSBC UK Grand Prix Series - Tour of the Reservoir Stage 1 - Edmundbyers, Northumberland, England - Mark Donovan of Team Wiggins (R).

August is known as the beginning of cycling’s transfer season, at least officially. On the 1st August, teams are free to announce their new signings for the following season, even if they have to wait five months before the team’s new riders can suit up in their new colours.

 

But while the likes of Richie Porte to Trek-Segafredo and André Greipel to Fortuneo-Samsic have dominated the headlines, last month also saw a number of stagiaires sign up with teams. French for ‘interns’, stagiaires are young riders taken on a trial basis for the end of the season.

 

Read: Why Giorgia Bronzini will make an inspirational sports director

 

These riders can’t compete in WorldTour races, but they’re signed up for experience, a chance to impress, and sometimes as preparation for joining the team on a full-time contract the next year. Stagiaires come from the amateur U23 ranks or from UCI Continental teams, with teams limited to a maximum of three riders (though Movistar haven’t taken any this year). Here’s a look at the 2018 crop.

 

Prime picks

Clément Champoussin (20, FRA) – AG2R La Mondiale
Hailing from AG2R’s local feeder squad Chambéry CF, ex-mountain biker Champoussin recently rode to an impressive fifth at the Tour de l’Avenir. Earlier in the season he took a top ten at the Ronde de l’Isard, and will fit right in with ex-Chambéry men Romain Bardet and Pierre Latour.

 

Jonas Gregaard (22, DEN) – Astana
The fifth Dane to suit up for the Kazakh squad this year, Gregaard’s stage racing potential is clear, having finished on the podium at the Giro della Valle d’Aosta in July. Last year’s win at Kreiz Breizh Elites and two 13th places at the Tour de l’Avenir only cements that.

Stephen Williams (22, GBR) – Bahrain-Merida
The ex-JLT-Condor man is a strong climber with a fast finish. He won the Ronde de l’Isard earlier in the year before taking fifth at the Baby Giro. Bahrain have already signed him up for two years.

 

José Fernandes (22, POR) – Education First-Drapac
Multiple national time trial champion, Fernandes won the Volta a Portugal do Futuro last year and this season became the youngest winner of the prestigious Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho. He has already raced the Colorado Classic with the American squad.

 

Stan Dewulf (20, BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
An all-round classics specialist, Dewulf won Paris-Roubaix espoirs this year. But while that race hasn’t produced a senior winner since Marc Madiot, the Belgian has podium places at U23 proving grounds Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux and the Tour of Brittany under his belt too.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 23/09/2017 - Cycling - 2017 UCI Road World Championships, Day 7 - Bergen, Norway - Great Britain's Mark Donovan during the Junior Men's Race.

Mark Donovan (19, GRB) – Sky
The youngster, riding for Team Wiggins this year, has had a great season, finishing fourth at the Baby Giro and taking a stage win at Valle d’Aosta. He’ll be a long way down the ranks at Sky, but where better to learn the craft of stage racing?

 

Read: Rising star – junior Gent-Wevelgem winner Pfeiffer Georgi

 

Max Kanter (20, GER) – Sunweb
A two-time U23 national champion, the sprinter recently recorded a win at the Tour de l’Avenir too. Sunweb have signed him for two years, so he’ll have ample opportunity to learn from fastmen Michael Matthews and Edward Theuns.

Matteo Moschetti (22, ITA) – Trek-Segafredo
Riding this year for Alberto Contador’s Polartec-Kometa squad, the sprinter has racked up the wins. Perhaps the most impressive was at the Vuelta a Burgos, beating much more senior riders. He’s already signed with Trek for two years past his internship.

 

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Elsewhere, rising stars Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott), ‘new Merckx’ Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Floors) and Tour de l’Avenir winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) have gone straight to the pros, signing with WorldTour teams for next season onwards.

 

The Full List

AG2R La Mondiale: Geoffrey Bouchard (26 years old), Clément Champoussin (20), Nicolas Prodhomme (21)

 

Astana: Jonas Gregaard (22)

 

Bahrain-Merida: Andrea Garosio (24), Maxim Pirard (21), Stephen Williams (22)

 

BMC: Alexander Evans (21), Freddy Ovett (24)

 

Bora-Hansgrohe: Johannes Schinnagel (22)

 

Dimension Data: Matteo Sobrero (21), Kent Main (22), Connor Swift (22)

 

Education First-Drapac: José Fernandes (22), Cyrus Monk (21), James Whelan (22)

 

Groupama-FDJ: Alexys Brunel (19), Clement Davy (20), Jimmy Raibaud (26)

 

Katusha-Alpecin: Kenny Nijssen (27), Dmitri Strakhov (23)

 

Lotto-Soudal: Stan Dewulf (20), Gerben Thijssen (20), Brent Van Moer (20)

 

LottoNL-Jumbo: Jan Maas (22)

 

Mitchelton-Scott: Bryan Chaves (21), Xiaolong Sun (24)

 

Quick-Step Floors: Mikkel Honoré (21), Barnabás Peák (19)

 

Sky: Mark Donovan (19), Ethan Hayter (19)

 

Sunweb: Cees Bol (23), Nils Eekhoff (20), Max Kanter (20)

 

Trek-Segafredo: Matteo Moschetti (22), Michel Ries (20)

 

UAE Team Emirates: Andrea Bagioli (19), Alessandro Covi (19), German Tivani (22)