News round-up: Movistar Women sign multi-disciplinary sensation Cat Ferguson, as Tim Declercq leaves Soudal Quick-Step

We bring you all the latest transfer news, an update on Primož Roglič's racing calendar and all of today's headlines

Clock18:15, Tuesday 19th September 2023
Cat Ferguson is only 17, but has already left her mark across various disciplines

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Cat Ferguson is only 17, but has already left her mark across various disciplines

British youngster Cat Ferguson signs with Movistar for 2024 and beyond

While Movistar have bid adieu to their flagship rider, Annemiek van Vleuten, in the last few weeks, attention has quicked turned to the future of the Spanish team. A large part of this future looks to be the British 17-year-old Cat Ferguson, who was announced as their latest signing on Tuesday morning.

Read more: Annemiek van Vleuten: I can leave the sport proud

Ferguson, hailing from North Yorkshire, will join the team as a trainee (stagiaire) as of 1 August, 2024, before making the step up to WorldTour fold from the beginning of the 2025 season.

Contracted with Movistar through to December 2027, Ferguson will continue to ride for her current team Shibden Hope Tech Apex Team, but will immediately become a part of Movistar's training camps and enjoy support from their performance resources.

“It’s a dream come true to soon turn pro with the Movistar Team," Ferguson said of the move. "From our first meeting it felt like such a welcoming and family environment, with a great focus on developing my attributes at WorldTour level.

"I look forward to learning from the best and most experienced riders in the world, and couldn’t think of a better team to help me make the step up to elite cycling. First, I want to close out my junior CX and road seasons, hopefully achieving some big wins.”

The Englishwoman's latest impressive result was a silver medal at the World Championships Junior Road Race, coming just weeks after becoming the national time trial champion.

Ferguson began her 2023 campaign with a sixth-place finish in the World Cyclo-Cross Championships, before transitioning onto the road and taking victories at Trofeo Binda Juniors, the Tour of Flanders Juniors and stage victories in Bizkaikoloreak Juniors and the Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie, amongst others.

Tim Declercq and Stan Van Tricht leave Soudal Quick-Step for pastures new

Het Laatste Nieuws reports that both Tim Declercq and Stan Van Tricht will be leaving Soudal Quick-Step at the end of the 2023 season, with Declercq signing for Lidl-Trek and Van Tricht heading to Alpecin-Deceuninck.

Declercq's departure has been rumoured for a number of months, but will still serve as a surprise given his reputation as the peloton's most valuable engine. The Belgian is so often seen on the front of the bunch, especially during the spring Classics, dragging the peloton along for the majority of the afternoon before the most ferocious racing kicks off in the finale.

At 34 years of age, Declercq perhaps fancied one final big move before his career winds down, with contracts reportedly on offer from both Lidl-Trek and AG2R Citroën. As have many so far during the transfer window, Declercq opted to join the Lidl-Trek side whose recent financial investment from the supermarket has allowed them to flex their muscles in the market.

For Van Tricht, meanwhile, his future lies at Alpecin-Deceuninck, where he will hope to build on the promising results he has achieved at the GP Jef Scherens and Dwars door het Hageland thus far in 2023 - taking second place in both.

The Belgian is at the opposite end of his career to Declercq, but at 23 years of age he will soon be approaching the time to kick on and pick up his first race victories. A move to Alpecin-Deceuninck should offer him the occasional chance to race for his own fortunes, rather than those of his teammates.

Primož Roglič will continue road season in Italy

Given their race schedules since the start of the Tour de France in July, Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard will be forgiven for riding off into the sunset and beginning their off-season at the conclusion of the Vuelta a España on Sunday. For Primož Roglič, however, the Slovenian still has his eyes on more success.

RTV SLO are reporting that the third-placed finisher from the Vuelta will next pin on a race number at the Giro dell'Emilia at the end of the month, before presumably rounding out his 2023 schedule alongside many others at Il Lombardia in early October.

Since becoming a Grand Tour winner at the Vuelta a España in 2019, Roglič has enjoyed a couple of fruitful appearances at the year's final Monument, and given his shape at the Vuelta this time around, must become an automatic favourite to win Il Lombardia.

Just weeks after winning the 2019 Vuelta, he came home seventh at the Race of the Falling Leaves, whilst he went even better in 2021 and finished just off the podium in fourth.

Should he ride Il Lombardia again in a few weeks' time, Roglič will come up against his compatriot and foe, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), along with a host of other contenders including Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost), Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Enric Mas (Movistar).

Jumbo-Visma dominate the prize pot from the Vuelta a España

Taking the 1-2-3 on GC through Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič, along with five stage victories and more than half of the race spent in the leader's red jersey, it is safe to say Jumbo-Visma enjoyed the best Vuelta a España of any team in recent times.

For the raft of achievements the pioneering team clocked up in the year's final Grand Tour, they were handsomely rewarded by the race organisers, Unipublic and the ASO. Across the 21 days of racing, Jumbo-Visma took home a whopping €364,985 in prize money - which is, remarkably, more than the four other most successful teams combined.

With €1,116,835 distributed in total from the prize pot, Soudal Quick-Step pocketed most of the 'scraps' left by the Dutch superteam, coming away with €98,965, largely thanks to Remco Evenepoel's efforts which saw him win three stages and the KoM jersey.

Notable bags were also secured by UAE Team Emirates (€95,530), Bahrain Victorious (€80,245) and Bora-Hansgrohe (€64,680).

Astana-Qazaqstan, Jayco AlUla, AG2R Citroën and Arkéa Samsic, meanwhile, were all overshadowed by the success of ProTeams TotalEnergies, Lotto Dstny and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. These four WorldTeams each brought home less than €10,000 in prize money.

Read more: Jumbo-Visma awarded top prize money as Remco Evenepoel saves Soudal Quick-Step's Vuelta a España

Strava confirms the record-setting KOM conquests of Sepp Kuss

By Patrick Fletcher

Sepp Kuss was coronated as the champion of the 2023 Vuelta a España on Sunday evening, but he also climbed another kind of crown - 808 of them to be precise.

Over the course of his victorious three-week lap of Spain, the US rider racked up an enviable array of ‘King of the Mountain’ records on Strava, becoming the biggest KOM-bagger of the pro peloton in 2023.

According to Strava, Kuss has claimed a whopping 808 KOMs this year, which is “more than any other pro athlete in 2023”. It may well be that an amateur rider with a penchant for KOM-hunting has more in the bag.

It’s worth pointing out that not all pro riders upload their rides to Strava, and two very notable exceptions are Kuss’ Jumbo-Visma teammates Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič, winners of the year’s Tour de France and Giro d’Italia respectively, and both on the podium with Kuss at the Vuelta.

Still, Kuss’ record-breaking 2023 KOM-bagging is quite the achievement, given the likes of Wout van Aert, Tadej Pogačar and Remco Evenepoel regularly log their racing on Strava.

Read more: 808 Strava KOMs: A record-breaking season for Sepp Kuss

Steve Cummings emphasises Ineos Grenadiers' resilience in the wake of a disappointing Vuelta a España

By Dan Benson

It’s fair to say that Ineos Grenadiers fell short of their Vuelta a España ambitions, with a solitary stage win and a few placings the sum of their three weeks of Grand Tour racing. However, sports director Steve Cummings believes that the team’s mentality and spirit bodes well for the future as they look to move forward and improve in 2024.

"I think that it’s fair to say that we’ve had our fair share of bad luck," Cummings told GCN at the Vuelta a España.

"Then we’ve also been second a few times and won a stage. It’s not been our best Grand Tour but there are still positives to take from it. Kim Heiduk is developing, a new rider doing a Grand Tour, and Filippo in the time trial. Egan Bernal is slowly progressing forward, which is good for everyone to see and I think performance aside, the spirit and fight that the riders have shown is a big positive going forward."

The team’s recruitment has also been widely discussed with a raft of stage racing talent allowed to leave in the form of Pavel Sivakov, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Dani Martínez all moving to rival teams in 2024.

Cummings is not party to the team’s transfer dealings but he stated the team’s management were deserving of both time and patience as they look to the future.

"I’m not really involved with the recruitment so I can’t really comment but what I would say is that I trust the management," he added. "If you look at the track record and what this team has achieved, I’d trust the management."

Read more:

Today's other headlines

From an octopus’ garden in the shade, it is time to bid adieu. Until the next time.

Related Content

Link to News Round-up: Thymen Arensman back training as the Vuelta a España turns its attention to Lisbon
Thymen Arensman may well have been Ineos Grenadiers' GC hope in the Vuelta a España, but it was not to be

News Round-up: Thymen Arensman back training as the Vuelta a España turns its attention to Lisbon

The Gran Partida of the 2024 Vuelta will take place in Portugal, whilst Alberto Bettiol has extended his contract with EF Education-EasyPost

Link to 808 Strava KOMs: A record-breaking season for Sepp Kuss
Sepp Kuss has had a record-breaking year on Strava

808 Strava KOMs: A record-breaking season for Sepp Kuss

Strava confirms the Vuelta winner has topped the most segment leaderboards of any pro athlete in 2023

Link to Jumbo-Visma awarded top prize money as Remco Evenepoel saves Soudal Quick-Step's Vuelta a España
Sepp Kuss' surprising rise has opened the door for huge spoils to be shared amongst his teammates

Jumbo-Visma awarded top prize money as Remco Evenepoel saves Soudal Quick-Step's Vuelta a España

1-2-3 on GC ensures Sepp Kuss' team sweep up the majority of the prize pot, as Astana Qazaqstan struggle

Link to Steve Cummings: Vuelta a España results don't lie but Ineos Grenadiers' spirit and fight remain
Ineos Grenadiers at the Vuelta a España

Steve Cummings: Vuelta a España results don't lie but Ineos Grenadiers' spirit and fight remain

British team look to the future after a bruising three weeks in Spain

Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox