INEOS set to sign 17-year old American supertalent Andrew August - "He is Remco, but probably with more power"

INEOS Grenadiers just took home an European Championships title with Joshua Tarling, 19 years of age and younger than the new under-23 European Champion in the time-trial. World Tour teams are signing younger and younger riders, and INEOS may be set to sign 17-year old Andrew August.

He was proposed to join Hagens Bermans Axeon, but team manager Axel Merckx told GCN that “he’s not coming to us and I suspect that he’s coming to the WorldTour." Taking into consideration the history of Merckx' team, and also adding that he is an American and would be a perfect fit for the team, it is safe to say that August is likely in contact with World Tour teams - as Axeon is ordinarily considered the top under-23 team, who have in the past done deals with riders that had already agreed on future contracts with World Tour teams.

The links between August and INEOS come down to a stint in a training camp earlier in the year, and the fact that he comes from the same youth team as riders such as Matteo Jorgenson and possible future teammate Magnus Sheffield. “He went and did an INEOS training camp in Mallorca this January and they did some testing on him and Vo2 test on him and he was 92," Hot Tubes team's founder Toby Stanton told GCN.

"They said that they didn't have anyone that could do what he could do. He is Remco, but probably with more power," he argues. The report of GCN indicates that a transfer is likely. The likes of Tarling of Remco Evenepoel himself are riders who were signed directly from the junior ranks, something which is no longer unthinkable. This week, Movistar's women's team has signed 17-year old Cat Ferguson, a first-year junior, directly into the top ranks of cycling.

Now a similar deal may ensure on the men's side. “I have had my team for 32 years and he is the most talented rider I have had or seen. We do testing on this climb called Brasstown Bald and Magnus was a minute faster than Nathan Brown, Ian Boswell and Ben King. Then Phil Gaimon went out and cherry picked it. But AJ August went up there after 45 miles of training and rode 13:51, faster than Gaimon and a minute faster than Magnus. AJ, at 127 pounds averaged 398 watts (6.9W/Kg, ed.)."

With the British team currently not being able to sign leaders capable of contesting with the likes of Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard in the mountains, it is being forced to look elsewhere and other types of riders, and they are increasing their scouting efforts in search of the talents of the future.

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