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Ineos Grenadiers is ready to roll into the new year.
The team announced contract extensions of five riders Tuesday and has now completed its 31-rider roster for 2022. Jonathan Castroviejo, Brandon Rivera, Cameron Wurf, Ben Swift, and Salvatore Puccio were the last confirmed renewals for the British squad it also extended with Tour de France-winner Geraint Thomas’ this week.
Thomas and British national champion Swift are the last remaining riders from “Team Sky v.1.0″ of 2010.
“This team has always been home to me,” he said in a press note. “I’ve spent so much of my career here and I feel like I keep growing. I keep developing, keep learning, and that’s something this team is incredibly good at. We never sit on our laurels.”
Alongside Puccio, Swift will be one of the veteran riders at an increasingly youthful Ineos Grenadiers next year.
New signings Magnus Sheffield, Ben Turner, Ben Tulett, Kim Heiduk, and Luke Plapp join young talents like Ethan Hayter and Tom Pidcock as the team transitions away from the years of Chris Froome and black-and-blue jerseys.
“This team means so much to me,” said Puccio, who joined Team Sky in 2011. “I feel as though I get stronger every year here and I cannot imagine myself on another team. I feel part of a family and I always have done, since the moment I became a Team Sky rider.”
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) December 21, 2021
Long-timers like Puccio, Swift, and Thomas will give Ineos Grenadiers a thread of continuity in 2022.
Team boss Dave Brailsford will be balancing his work with the team with a new wider involvement with the Ineos sports portfolio. Tour de France-unlocking coach Tim Kerrison is on the way out, and Roger Hammond will be coming in as lead director.
A notable investment in youth with riders like Sheffield and Plapp further mixes things up from the “Froome era” of the last decade. Swift is embracing the change.
“Now I’m really excited by this young group of riders coming through and I want to help them progress, while getting the best out of myself, doing the best for the team, and helping push these young guys on,” Swift said. “It’s very exciting.”
And elite rower-turned-triathlete Wurf?
He’ll keep swimming, pedaling, and running with the team’s backing in 2022 as he targets the Kona Ironman world championships on its rescheduled February 2022 date.
“Ironman is a very individual sport but I never feel like that now, with the team behind me – even though I’m out there on my own. I love the fact that I can go and do that and then come back to help the team in a role I really love,” he said.
“It’s so fulfilling to be able to play the role of domestique and help our guys win. It motivates me to go and win myself in Ironman and the guys really make me feel special. They seem to genuinely admire what I do and that pushes me to do even more.”
Ineos Grenadiers roster for 2022:
Laurens De Plus
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Dylan van Baarle