British Jumbo-Visma trainee Thomas Gloag hits ground running in Italy: ‘I surprised myself’
The 21-year-old wows directors with three top-20s in first races with Jumbo-Visma: 'He rode these races exceptionally well'
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Thomas Gloag is busting the door down in his trainee turn with Jumbo-Visma.
The British 21-year-old tore into the top-20 in each of his three-course serving of Italian racing in the past week and stamped himself into the spotlight at the soonest opportunity.
Seveteenth, 12th, and 12th at the Giro dell’Emilia, Tre Valli Varesine and Gran Piemonte saw Gloag go straight in at the pointy end to mark himself as yet another of cycling’s Gen-Z stars.
“I surprised myself today,” Gloag said after he uncorked a solo raid deep in the final of the Tre Valli Varesine earlier this week.
It could just be a taste of a lot more to come as Gloag pedals toward a three-year deal with the Jumbo-Visma superteam this fall. The London-native rides stagiaire through the late season ahead of a full WorldTour contract starting in 2023.
Also read: British youngster Thomas Gloag set for Jumbo-Visma in 2023
Gloag doesn’t look like he’ll be pandering to grand tour stars and monument winners packing the peloton around him when he takes on a full top-tier calendar next year.
The 21-year-old went solo before Tadej Pogačar won Monday’s Tre Valli and was on the move again when the selection was made in Gran Piemonte on Thursday.
“It is important for my rhythm that I complete races at this level, and it’s especially good that I can play a role in the final. I feel very comfortable with this team,” he said. “Last year, I could only dream of working with such a skilled squad and riding with such experienced and strong riders. I am very grateful for that.”
‘A rider who has a lot to contribute’
Jumbo-Visma had to fend off the interest of Ineos Grenadiers and a number of rivals to see Gloag in its jersey.
The Brit came hotly tipped after scoring fourth at last year’s “Baby Giro” and sixth in the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège while he rode with the Trinity Racing talent academy that previously played host to Tom Pidcock, Luke Lamperti and Christopher Blevins.
Gloag chose Jumbo-Visma after seeing the Dutch team develop riders like Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert from hot talents to world-topping stars. Gloag could be next.
“He rode these three races exceptionally well,” sport director Frans Maassen said.
“He is very enthusiastic and eager to learn. However, the most important thing is that he continues to work hard in the coming years to develop himself,” Maassen added. “We shall assist him in this endeavor as well as we can. Tom is a rider who has a lot to contribute.”