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Archie Ryan may have had a tough time for long periods at Jumbo Visma Development but even with limited opportunities he really impressed (Photo: Cor Vos)

Archie Ryan joined Jumbo Visma Development straight from the junior ranks and now, four years on, he moves to the World Tour with EF Education-EasyPost. On paper, it sounds like a dream rate of progress, but the reality was very different.

A look at Ryan’s palmares since the start of the 2020 season offers some insight into the ups and downs; long periods without racing – Covid-19 and injury – and highs that most U23 riders would dream of. There were five wins, including a stage of Tour de l’Avenir this year and a stage win last year while riding Tour de Slovaquie for the World Tour line-up.

His best general classification result was 6th at Tour de Slovaquie 20202, when he was also 4th overall at Tour de l’Avenir during a tenure with the team that Ryan (22) has now described as a dream opportunity and a “wild ride” as he bows out of the team.

“There is nowhere I would have rather spent my U23 years,” the Irishman said as he leaves the Dutch development team. “There have been ups and downs, but overall I am very pleased with how everything unfolded.

“I managed to get some great results along the way, but obviously there were some tough times as well with an injury. I have met some wonderful people and have made friends for life during this time.

“Thanks to the team, I feel ready for the next step in my career, as I will turn pro. Even though I’ve felt like a part of a professional cycling team for the past four years already.”

His strike rate during his U23 years, though impressive, would have been much better for the pandemic and a knee injury reducing his 2020 season to just 11 days of racing, thought that included 7th overall at Karkonosze Tour (2.2) in Poland and 8th in Ronde de l’Isard (2.2U) in France.

Injury struck in 2021, resulting in just four days of racing, before a clearer run in 2022 with 40 days of racing; 7th overall at Istrian Spring Trophy (2.2), 6th on GC at Sazka Tour (2.1), 4th at Tour de l’Avenir (2.Ncup) including 5th, 2nd and 9th on stages, a stage and 6th overall at Tour de Slovaquie (2.1), two stages, including a TTT, and 8th on GC at Ronde de l’Isard (2.2U).

Once Ryan can stay healthy, which he is confident of, the results as an EF Education-EasyPost are likey to come as soon as next year, especially as the team has a reputation for extending some freedoms to young riders.

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