Three young Irish riders have secured important slots with international teams for the 2022 season, improving their aim of progressing on to professional careers.
The 2020 Irish junior road-race champion Ronan O'Connor has inked a deal with the Colpack Ballan squad, a UCI Continental team based in Italy. It has a strong reputation for developing young talent, with this year's Baby Giro winner Juan Ayuso of Spain and world under 23 champion Filippo Baroncini of Italy both taking those successes during their time with the team.
Wicklow rider O’Connor is 18 years of age and has been competing in Ireland with the Orwell Wheelers squad. In addition to his win in last year’s junior road-race championships, he was fourth in the same event this season and took the silver medal in the time-trial.
Meanwhile, cycling agent Andrew McQuaid has finalised the line-up of his Trinity Racing squad for 2022. Also competing at Continental level, it has helped in the development of many young riders. Ireland's Ben Healy competed with the team this season and recently signed a contract with the WorldTour squad EF Education-Nippo.
Matthew Devins has signed up for a second season with the squad. The 19-year-old amassed some important experience this year and will hope to move up a level in 2022.
He will be joined by Irish under-23 time-trial champion Kevin McCambridge, who will share the same ambition. The 20-year-old was national time-trial champion in 2019 and, like O’Connor and Devins, has a good platform to show what he can do in the coming season.