Ineos Grenadiers turns the page to an unwritten new chapter next season.
The team’s present and past incarnation enjoyed one final fling before David Brailsford’s Tour de France powerhouse heads toward a future centered around youthful regeneration and ambitious new endeavors.
Dylan van Baarle bashed his way to a franchise-first Paris-Roubaix victory, Geraint Thomas braced back against youth for a Tour de France podium finish, Richard Carapaz blitzed the mountains of the Vuelta a España, and Tom Pidcock won big on all terrain.
But with Carapaz, Van Baarle and Adam Yates on the exit, Richie Porte retiring, and Thomas tilting toward his 37th year, things could look a little different in 2023.
A flurry of fresh-faced teens and 20-somethings enter alongside the team’s first female rider, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, and the team sees a full refresh of its staffer setup.
First came Team Sky V1. of Froome and Wiggins.
The franchise’s Ineos inception of Carapaz, Egan Bernal and the returning Rod Ellingworth followed almost a decade later.
2023 might herald the fledging steps of V.3 of the British supersquad.
From Roubaix to the Hour Record, via the Tour de France
Marquee results 2022:
- Cyclocross world championships: 1st
- Paris Roubaix: 1st
- Amstel Gold: 1st
- Giro d’Italia: 2nd overall
- Tour de Suisse: 1st overall
- Tour de France: 3rd overall, stage win
- Vuelta a España: KoM jersey, three stage wins
- New UCI Hour Record
Just because Ineos Grenadiers didn’t return to its seat on the Tour de France throne in 2022, doesn’t mean the season was unsuccessful.
The team’s riders won big on all terrain in a season that harvested the fourth-biggest win count in the WorldTour and saw Ineos Grenadiers finish third in the UCI team rankings.
A first cobbled monument, a presence in all three grand tours, and discipline-hopping triumphs on the ‘cross field and velodrome saw the team retain its stake in stage racing while continuing to stretch into new terrain.
Victories from “babies of the 21st century” like Magnus Sheffield and Carlos Rodríguez make for just a taste of things to come.
Out with the old, in with the new
Marquee transfers 2023:
- Out: Richard Carapaz (29), Richie Porte (37), Dylan Van Baarle (30), Adam Yates (30), Eddie Dunbar (26)
- In: Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (30), Leo Hayter (21), Michael Leonard (18), Josh Tarling (18), Connor Swift (27), Thymen Arensman (23)
Ineos Grenadiers goes even bigger than before on youth in 2023 as it looks to the long view.
The exit of well-schooled stars this winter makes room for a kindergarten of wunderkind to join the likes of Pidcock (23), Sheffield (20), Luke Plapp (21), and Vuelta sensation Rodríguez (21).
Gen-Z sensations like Pidcock, Sheffield, and Ethan Hater have already shown they can haul victories. But with Bernal still on the comeback, it will be down to Thomas to deliver marquee grand tour victory in 2023 in an anticipated Giro d’Italia showdown with Remco Evenepoel.
Ineos Grenadiers’ road division boots into regeneration mode in 2023 rather than doggedly chasing results. Its veteran leadership team instead beds in a battery of staffing shifts and lets its young breed begin to stretch its wings in 2023.
“We have the whole team working to help these guys,” team DS Matteo Tossato said of his youthful eight at the Vuelta a España. “They are the future of the team.”
Brailsford’s patient play toward youth is balanced by a soil-stained step further into the world of off-road racing. Ferrand-Prévot is the team’s first female rider, and a perfect counterpoint to Pidcock and this road, mountain bike, and cyclocross chops.
The wins will come for Ineos Grenadiers in 2023. But the biggest results could come from muddier tracks than it is used to.
The chase for the Tour de France
Team Sky/Ineos blitzed the Tour de France with its seven victories in eight years.
But the grand tour landscape now looks radically different since Bernal became the first Colombian to win yellow in 2019. Tadej Pogačar is the new rider to beat, Jumbo-Visma is the new Ineos, and Remco Evenepoel is the new sheriff in town.
Ineos Grenadiers won’t likely be winning a franchise eighth maillot jaune in 2023 as the Tour tilts toward a Pogačar vs Jumbo-Visma showdown.
But with Tom Pidcock suggesting a post-Olympic GC future and a roster riddled with red-hot rookies, the team is laying the foundation for Tour de France titles for years to come.
“There’s been a lot of young riders coming on, it will be interesting to see how that develops,” Thomas said this autumn. “It’s a bright future.”