Former national under 23 road race champion Rob Scott believes his move to UK-based professional team Canyon dhb can provide him with the platform he needs to make the jump to World Tour level.
The 21 year old was one of a clutch of young talent left stranded when Team Wiggins, the set up part funded by the Tour de France winner Bradley, closed its doors at the end of this year.
Scott, who won the UK title during a stellar 2018 season, weighed a number of options before opting for Canyon, where he will join an impressively strong line up that seems poised to dominate, at least on the domestic scene, in 2020.
“I’m happy with the move, it’s a good set up, really professional, and a strong line up,” said Scott, who is well aware of the task facing him as he prepares for his final year as an under 23 rider.
“There’s no doubt the pressure’s on a bit for me next year, because while it is possible to go to a World Tour team once you’re out of the under 23s, it is definitely a lot harder because the top teams generally look for younger riders.
“I’m not getting too stressed about it. I’d hoped this year was going to be a bit of a breakout year for me and maybe I over-thought things a bit.
“In 2018, I didn’t expect the season I had, it just happened and I’m going back to that kind of mental approach.
“I think Canyon have shown they’ll give me everything I need to get results, then it’s down to me to deliver.
“Although it’s a UK-based team, they do a lot of races in Europe, particularly in Holland and Belgium, and hopefully 60 per cent of my programme will be over there.
“They do Le Samyn, which is a big one day race in the spring, and the Circuit de Ardennes, which is four day stage race, so those are obvious targets.
“Then there’s the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain, but when you look at the riders we have it’s going to be tough to get into the team for those races because you’re really going to have to show you merit selection.
“I’m looking forward to it though, that kind of competition motivates me.”
Hebden Bridge-based Scott, who is training in Spain through December, also hopes to ride for the Great Britain under-23 team in the Nations Cup series - a traditional shop window for young riders looking to make the leap to the top of the sport - although changes at British Cyclinghas put those plans in some doubt.
With several top junior riders opting for European development teams rather than the GB Academy this winter, there are rumours the rules will be tightened to make the Manchester programme more attractive to up and coming talent.
“That’s under discussion at the moment,” said Scott, who finished fourth in the under 23 Belgian classic Ghent-Wevelgem riding in GB colours.
“It’s been suggested they will only take riders from the GB Academy set up to those races.
“I’ve not spoken to Matt Brammeier (GB coach) yet though, so we’ll see.
“That would be a bit of a blow though, because the big teams do look at those races.”