Team Argos-Shimano has decided to expand its organization by adding a professional Under-23 development team for the 2014 season and beyond. The new team will be registered as a UCI Continental team and will serve as the official development program for Team Argos-Shimano.
The team will be composed of a mix of young riders moving up from the junior ranks and 22-year-old riders with some experience in the Europe Tour. These riders will have the chance to show their abilities as team players before potentially moving up to the WorldTour team.
“The establishment of this team is a reflection of what Team Argos-Shimano stands for: development of young riders through our way of working,“ said general manager Iwan Spekenbrink (NED). The primary goal of the new team will be the long-term development of cycling talent for the WorldTour. With this team, we can start this process at an early stage, which will benefit these young riders for the rest of their careers. We want the riders to adapt to our structure and learn how the WorldTour team functions so that their integration will go smoothly in the future. In addition to providing sporting development support, the team will also help prepare the young riders for life after their cycling careers.”
Jens Lang (GER) has been hired as the new team’s coach. Lang spent several years as a trainer and coach with the successful Thüringer Energie Team and worked with Team Argos-Shimano riders John Degenkolb (GER) and Marcel Kittel (GER) during that period.
“I’m enjoying the new task,” said Lang. “It is a challenge to work in an international team. The new team will offer an optimal environment for preparing young riders for the WorldTour, which is something I am eager to be part of.”