Canyon-SRAM Generation confirm multi-national development line-up for 2024

Riders from Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria join team aimed at bringing underrepresented nations to the peloton

Clock20:04, Tuesday 19th December 2023
Daniela Schmidsberger (second from left) will continue with Canyon-SRAM Generation in 2024

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Daniela Schmidsberger (second from left) will continue with Canyon-SRAM Generation in 2024

Canyon-SRAM Generation, the Continental development team attached to Canyon-SRAM, have announced their roster for 2024, with six new names joining two continuing riders on the young and international team.

Created in 2022, Canyon-SRAM Generation aims in part to give riders from underrepresented cycling nations a chance in the professional peloton, and their approach to recruitment has been no different this year, with riders from Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria among the new additions to the squad.

Diane Ingabire of Rwanda and Daniela Schmidsberger of Austria are continuing with the team for a second year after joining at the start of 2023, whilst the six new signings are: Selam Amha Gerefiel (Ethiopia), Anastasiya Kolesava (Belarus), Jule Märkl (Germany), Florence Nakagwa (Uganda), Awen Roberts (Great Britain) and Ese Lovina Ukperesaye (Nigeria).

Read more: Canyon-SRAM Team Talk: Improvements made but how do they reach the next level?

Fielding nine riders for 2024 - the ninth will be the winner of the upcoming Zwift Academy finals - the team will have its biggest roster to date in 2024.

“I am looking forward to the season where we have many new riders and have established a pathway to provide a platform to as many talented riders as possible,” sports director Adam Szabó said. “I’m sincerely happy that we can give talents from various countries opportunities and guide them to be successful in the professional racing environment.”

In its two years of existence, Canyon-SRAM Generation has already had significant success in identifying and developing new talent. In the team’s first season, Ricarda Bauernfeind and Antonia Niedermaier were the squad’s most successful riders, and both moved up to the Canyon-SRAM WorldTour team in 2023 and onto the biggest of victories: both won stages in Grand Tours - Bauernfeind at the Tour de France Femmes, and Niedermaier in the Giro d’Italia Donne.

Read more: Antonia Niedermaier provides biggest win of year for Canyon-SRAM at Giro d’Italia Donne

Of the 2023 roster, German Justyna Czapla is following in her compatriots’ footsteps with a move up to the WorldTour squad.

Among the incoming riders for 2024, there is a mixture of experience. The likes of Awen Roberts and Anastasiya Kolesava have already ridden for Continental teams, in Lifeplus-Wahoo and Arkéa respectively, but the other names are much fresher to the world of cycling - taking the kind of opportunity the team sets out to provide.

Moving over from the UCI’s WCC Team, Gerefiel is perhaps the most decorated of the new signings. At 26, the Ethiopian has twice been national road champion, has won the U23 time trial at the African continental championships twice, and represented her country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Florence Nakagwa, a 19-year-old from Uganda, is one of the youngest riders on the team, and one of the newest cyclists, having taken up cycling to deliver supplies to her grandparents during the COVID pandemic, and starting to race with the Masaka Cycling Club.

“I liked cycling ever since my dad and brothers were cyclists, but I just didn’t have an opportunity to do it because of the culture and traditions in Uganda,” she said. “In 2021, I had an opportunity to break that culture when Masaka Cycling Club, which mostly had boys as members, was looking for girls to join. I always had the belief that girls can cycle the same as boys do, and so I joined.”

As a Continental team, Canyon-SRAM Generation will race a programme of primarily lower-level races in 2024, with their status as a development team meaning they can field Generation riders to the WorldTour team roster on occasion, and vice versa.

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