Analysis: No blockbuster signings but BikeExchange-Jayco poised to punch above weight for 2023

Aussie outfit fortifies sprint train, GC ambitions with key signings for 2023.

Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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Though BikeExchange-Jayco doesn’t see a blockbuster signing for 2023, the men’s WorldTour team made some key pickups that team bosses hope will pay big dividends.

Team owner Gerry Ryan confirmed backing for the team through at least 2025, and staffers used this year’s recruiting season to sign some talented perhaps sometimes overlooked riders both young and old to fill out some cracks in its base.

The Australian team is hoping to keep punching above its budgetary weight against such rivals as UAE Team Emirates, Jumbo Visma, and Ineos Grenadiers across bunch sprints and stage races.

Its excellent crew of new signings for 2023 should see the team raise its game across all areas.

“We believe we have found and created a very well-balanced team, one of our strongest team rosters for the hilly races and a team that will really enable us to step up another level next year, especially in the big tours, chasing podium finishes,” said general manager Brent Copeland.

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After surviving the points battle to secure its WorldTour future, the Australia-registered team fortifies its sprint train around Dylan Groenewegen and Michael Matthews, and bolsters its GC base behind Simon Yates.

Overall, the team rolls into its 12th season with what it hopes is a deeper team with a sharper focus around its confirmed winners.

The Australian outfit onboards 11 new riders for a 30-rider roster, with a few key departures, including Kaden Groves, Jack Bauer and Damien Howson, as well as retirements from Cameron Meyer, Sam Bewley, and Tanel Kangert.

Building a better leadout train

Dylan Groenewegen delivered some key wins in 2022. (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

The team’s late-hour bet on Groenewegen paid off handsomely in 2022, with the Dutch rider scoring a stage win at the Tour de France en route to seven wins.

Groenewegen’s string of podium spots late in 2022 helped secure the team’s WorldTour ranking, and the team is pushing for even more success from the Dutch sprinter.

Going into next season, Groenewegen will see even more support in the bunch sprints. The addition of riders such as Blake Quick as well as Elmar Reinders (who joined midway through 2022) will link up with Luka Mezgec and Luke Durbridge to help pave the way for Groenewegen.

“We have big ambitions for sprint finishes in 2023,” Copeland said.

“We have enjoyed seeing the team step up and challenge for sprint victories throughout the entire season and how the leadout train has improved to become one of the best in the world,” he said. “It was very important to continue with this momentum, we’ve put a lot of work and resources into our sprint team, and we believe the new riders we have joining the team next year will really help to boost us in this area.”

The departure of Groves leaves a hole, but rising prospect and U23 Aussie champion Quick will lead the team’s “B” squad in the sprints, with support from former track riders Campbell Stewart and Kelland O’Brien.

Simon Yates will see fresh support

Simon Yates will see added support for the grand tours in 2023. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Perennial grand tour challenger Yates will see fresh support with some key signings.

Yates saw bad luck in 2022, crashing out of the Giro when he was flying early, and later catching COVID-19 at the Vuelta. When he’s consistent, the 2018 Vuelta a España champion can challenge for the podium in every grand tour he starts.

The arrival of such riders as Chris Harper (Jumbo Visma), Eddie Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers), and Italian champion and rising GC prospect Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) bodes well for the team when it tries to trade blows with the likes of Jonas Vingegaard or Tadej Pogačar.

“Winning stage races is a big goal for us as an organization,” Copeland said. “We are thrilled to have such diverse and talented riders joining us next year that will be able to support our leaders in stage races, from the high mountains to keeping safe and protected on the flat throughout grand tours.”

GC captain Yates will see also extra support from the likes of Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora Hansgrohe), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Premier Tech), and Zdeněk Štybar (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).

American rider Lawson Craddock proved his worth across 2022, and will ride into 2023 hoping to confirm his place in the team’s GC future.

Big bet on the future

The Aussie-backed team brings on 11 new riders for 2023. (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

And the team continues its long-running bet on youth and developing young talent. Some of those riders can emerge as the team’s new leaders.

The team is backing Ethiopian climber Welay Hagos Berhe and Rudy Porter from Australia. U23 European champion Felix Engelhardt and Quick will also see their chances.

“With the support staff, our dedicated sponsors, and the older experienced riders on the team, we believe it is a great environment to help these riders on their journey to becoming the world’s best,” Copeland said.

“With a clear vision for the future, we’re delighted to be able to bring onboard young talented riders, give them a plan and assist them with the important start of their careers as they step into the WorldTour. This has always been very important for us, to find and nurture new talent, the stars of the future, and it is very motivating for us to have four young and gifted riders in Hagos Berhe, Porter, Engelhardt, and Quick for 2023.”

Check back to this week for an analysis on the BikeExchange-Jayco women’s team for 2023.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco 2023

Alex Balmer (SUI)
Welay Hagos Berhe (ETH) *new Rider
Kevin Colleoni (ITA)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Alessandro De Marchi (ITA) *new Rider
Eddie Dunbar (IRL) *new Rider
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Felix Engelhardt (GER) *new Rider
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Dylan Groenewegen (NED)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Chris Harper (AUS) *new Rider
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Jan Maas (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Kelland O’Brien (AUS)
Jesús David Peña (COL)
Lukas Pöstlberger (AUT) *new Rider
Rudy Porter (AUS) *new Rider
Blake Quick (AUS) *new Rider
Elmar Reinders (NED) *new Rider
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Matteo Sobrero (ITA)
Campbell Stewart (NZL)
Zdeněk Štybar (CZE) *new Rider
Simon Yates (GBR)
Filippo Zana (ITA) *new Rider

Leaving riders

Tanel Kangert (retiring)
Cameron Meyer (retiring)
Dion Smith (Intermarché-Wanty)
Jack Bauer (Q36.5)
Damien Howson (Q36.5)
Nick Schultz ——
Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
Alex Edmondson (DSM)
Sam Bewley (retired)
Alexander Konychev ——

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