If you are anything like me, then nothing will give you as much joy as watching a breakout star shine in a Grand Tour. It is of course great to watch the big guns like Froome, Quintana and Uran battle it out, but there is something very special about watching someone you have never heard of put their name into contention and show the kind of promise that suggests they will, one day, be on the podium in Italy, Spain or France.
It is even more exciting if they are a rider you have followed for a while and have backed to make an impression. It is hard to find an exciting and interesting bet if you are only putting your money on the top riders, it might be a little easier to make money that way but the reward is nothing like the same. There is little like claiming a free bet and then using that to bet on an up and coming cyclist and being rewarded. The fact that you can get a free bet ensures that you won’t have to put down your own money but the reward will be as great as if you had put your own money on it. There is something special about a gamble playing off.
2018 should be another bumper year for talent spotting with a crop of great young cyclists set to battle it out for the white jerseys in France and Italy as well as the title of best young rider at the Vuelta. If you are not sure who to keep an eye out for, worry not as we have done the work for you. There are so many brilliant riders and racers to keep an eye out for that it can hard to know who to pick and who to back to impress. So here are three of the best, three young riders who will be hoping to grab the bull by the horns and burn their names into everyone’s memories at the Grand Tours this year and hopefully beyond.
One of the many young riders in Team Sky’s arsenal of talent, Sivakov was the best U23 in the world last year having picked up the U23 Giro as well as slew of other titles. He is a rider who is able to do anything, he has a great engine, superb tactical acumen and can finish very well, taking races away from his rivals as they enter the final stretch. Sky managed to poach him from BMC and with one of the world’s greatest riders, Chris Froome likely to be his team leader (pending the results of his doping issues) then he will be learning from and riding on the wheel of the best. Having already shined in Italy, if he can make team Sky’s list for the Giro, expect him to be right up there.
Caleb is a sprinter so might not be pulling on an overall jersey anytime soon, however he has already managed to pick up a stage win at two majors, last years Giro and Vuelta. He has already been announced as part of Mitchelton-Scott’s team for the Tour De France. At just 23 years old he has already been in three grand tours and will be hoping that he can make his fourth one his best yet. The Israeli cyclist is absolutely a talent and will be hoping that as he gets more physically impressive he can win more sprints and perhaps get his name into the green jersey conversation in France. The first stage in 2018 is likely to be flat and perfect for sprinter means Ewans will try and grab the opportunity to pull on the yellow jersey, even if only for a short time.
Arguably the second most impressive U23 talent after Sivakov, he was very frustrated by the number of second places finishes he had to endure as Sivakov continued to just pip him to the post. What will fill him with a degree of confidence though is that, while Sivakov’s path to the top at Team Sky is likely to be blocked by their wealth of talent, Lambrecht’s is likely to be far more clear as he is at Lotto Soudal who don’t quite have the same strength in depth as Sky. Lambrecht will be hoping to move out of Sivakov’s shadow this year and show just how talented he is.