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Archie Ryan started his journey four years with Jumbo Visma Development, which has just launched a new partnership with a junior team that has signed three Irish juniors for next season (Photo: Jumbo Visma Development)

Archie Ryan is the only Irish rider to date to compete with the Jumbo Visma Development team and now, after four years, he is on his way to the World Tour with EF Education-EasyPost.

Ryan took several big wins while a Jumbo Visma Development rider and now that team has launched a new relationship with a Dutch development squad which has already signed three Irish junior riders for next year.

And that raises the prospect three Irish teenagers could follow the same path as Ryan in the years ahead, competing for the U23 Jumbo Visma team when they age out of the junior ranks over the next couple of years.

The junior team JEGG-De Jonge Renner Academy, which has now become a feeder team for Jumbo Visma Development, already counted Irish junior rider Willem O’Connor among its ranks this year.

Stickybottle recently brought the news that Cal Tutty, the Dungarvan CC rider who competed for Ireland this year, has also signed for the Dutch squad. And now Max Fitzgerald (Panduit Carrick Wheelers), who won the U16 Irish criterium title this year, is also confirmed for next season.

Max Fitzgerald’s sprinting has carried him to two Irish titles in the youth ranks and will race as a junior next year for Dutch team JEGG-De Jonge Renner Academy (Photo: Toby Watson)

And that means three up and coming Irish riders have given themselves a great chance to progress if the results go there way over the next couple of years. Fitzgerald comes from very good stock as his father, Mehall Fitzgerald, was a prolific elite international rider.

Jumbo Visma’s development director, Robbert de Groot, said his team was now partnering with JEGG-De Jonge Renner Academy, based in Oosterhout in southern Holland, because it had an impressive track record of developing young riders.

“We want to follow talented riders more intensively in their development at an earlier stage,” he said.
Jumbo Visma’s sporting director, Merijn Zeeman, said the relationship with JEGG-De Jonge Renner Academy would involve his team supplying knowledge, equipment and a network to the junior team.

“The average age of WorldTour riders is getting younger and younger”, added Zeeman. “This makes the role of thorough and professional talent development increasingly important.”

Hugo Brenders, who will manage the junior team next year, said: “We used to have our own continental elite and under-23 team linked to our club. It has been our ambition for a long time to create such a team again.

“But when you see how the world of cycling has changed in recent years, you have to ask yourself what the added value of another continental team would be. What would we add to the cycling landscape? By working with Team Jumbo-Visma, we will play a clear and distinctive role in the international cycling pyramid.”

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