After rejuvenating their Classics squad and immediately winning big this spring, Ineos Grenadiers are also shaking up their Grand Tour leadership group in preparation for 2023 and beyond.
The British team are confident that Egan Bernal will return to his best following his terrible training accident in January, with the Colombian now in Europe and combining road training with gym work in the hope of a return to racing later in the summer.
As Cyclingnews first revealed in March, Tom Pidcock has inked a new long-term deal that will keep him with Ineos Grenadiers until 2027. The Yorkshire rider is also likely to make his Tour de France debut this summer as he fast-tracks his Grand Tour career.
Cyclingnews understands that Ineos Grenadiers have already struck a deal with 22-year-old Dutch talent Thymen Arensman, who will transfer from Team DSM for 2023.
He was second behind Tadej Pogačar in the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir and made his Grand Tour debut at the 2020 Vuelta a España with Team DSM. He was sixth at this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and third at the Tour of the Alps, where he helped Romain Bardet secure overall victory after the two trained together at altitude for the Giro d’Italia.
Ineos Grenadiers have stuck to their policy of refusing to respond to reports of new signings. New signings for the year ahead cannot be announced until after the UCI August 1 deadline but a deal has been done.
“We would really have liked to have kept Thymen in the team, we did everything that we could, but unfortunately he has apparently received an offer that he could not refuse,” Team DSM admitted to Cyclingnews.
Arensman’s arrival at Ineos Grenadiers continues the team’s policy of recruiting the next-gen of young talents. They signed Magnus Sheffield, Ben Tulett, Ben Turner, and Luke Plapp for 2022, with Leo Hayter likely to join his talented older brother Ethan for 2023.
Carapaz, Van Baarle and others
Other signings are possible, while Richard Carapaz could agree a new contract or move to a rival Grand Tour team.
Cyclingnews understands that Movistar are one of four teams in talks with the 2019 Giro d’Italia and Tokyo Olympic road race winner and the favorites to sign him. Carapaz is likely to make a decision on his future after the Giro d’Italia, where a second victory would raise his contract value despite him turning 29 on May 29, the day the Corsa Rosa ends in Verona.
Perhaps to help fund the next-gen Grand Tour signings, Ineos Grenadiers have let Paris-Roubaix winner Dylan van Baarle move on in 2023.
According to reports in the Flemish media, the 29-year-old Dutch rider has agreed a three-year contract for close to two million Euros a season with Jumbo-Visma. He will join Wout van Aert in Jumbo-Visma’s Classics squad, with Jumbo-Visma funding the deal after reducing their financial obligations to Tom Dumoulin, who could even leave the team for 2023.
There is also speculation about the future of Adam Yates, Eddie Dunbar and Dani Martinez at Ineos Grenadiers.
Yates has been linked with a move back to BikeExchange-Jayco with his twin brother Simon, who is expected to soon extend his contract with the Australian team.
Dunbar was not selected for the Giro d’Italia despite his climbing skills and overall victory at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. He has been linked to BikeExchange-Jayco and Jumbo-Visma.
Martinez has been linked to a move to Movistar alongside Carapaz as the Spanish team look to replace Alejandro Valverde. The 26-year-old has been one of the revelations of the spring after finishing third at Paris-Nice, winning Itzulia Basque Country and then fifth placing at La Flèche Wallonne and fourth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Martinez will lead Ineos Grenadiers at the Tour de France alongside Adam Yates but, contrary to reports, is not on the transfer market and is under contract with Ineos Grenadiers for 2023.
Ineos Grenadiers have a strong roster of Grand Tour riders but are in a moment of transformation as Bernal recovers from his injuries and young riders develop.
Richie Porte will retire at the end of the 2022 season and the Giro d’Italia is his final Grand Tour, while Geraint Thomas could fill a super domestique role at the 2022 Tour de France if he secures a place in the final eight-rider roster .
Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov, Jonathan Castroviejo, Laurens De Plus and Filippo Ganna are also under contract until the end of 2023 but Ineos Grenadiers will soon have to make decisions on their place in the team beyond next season.