Rising British star James Knox to turn pro with QuickStep Floors
Cumbrian climber signs two-year deal with WorldTour giants
Rising British star James Knox will step up to the UCI WorldTour next season after signing his first pro deal with QuickStep Floors.
The 21-year-old Cumbrian rider – the highest-placed British rider at this year’s Tour de l’Avenir, having come in eighth overall – has caught the eye with a number of impressive performances this year.
Alongside his performances at the Tour de l’Avenir, Knox finished in the top ten at the Tour of Croatia – won by Vincenzo Nibali – and Tour Alsace and was second at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege under-23 race.
And having signed a two-year deal to join the Belgian super-team – becoming the first British rider to sign with Patrick Lefevere’s outfit since Mark Cavendish’s departure – Knox says his results this season give him confidence for the future.
“Runner-up in Liège – a race I dream of winning as a pro – was great and from there on to get good results over the whole season gives me motivation and confidence to take the next step up the ladder at QuickStep Floors,” he said.
“I’m very happy and proud that the things I’ve achieved have attracted the attention of a team like QuickStep Floors.
“[They are] a team that excels in so many areas, from having the best classics riders in the world to the best stages racers and best sprinters.
“On the whole, it’s a great outfit that always gets the most out of every rider, and personally I especially hope to develop my character as a climber, because it’s where I can excel the most.
“When that is said, I would like to develop every aspect of what it means to be a top professional rider and I think Quick-Step Floors provides the best opportunity for just that.”
And Lefevere says Knox has been a rider the team have been paying close attention to for a while now.
“James was on our radar for some time and we closely monitored his progression this season, but it wasn’t only his results that caught our attention, also his right attitude and commitment towards the sport were equally impressive,” Lefevere said.
“He’s a very promising climber and we’ll carefully nurture his talent in the years to come, while at the same time helping him adapt to the demanding pro life.”
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