Six young wolves. Six young and talented riders we will keep an eye on during the 2023 cycling season. Discover the athletes behind the names and follow them by listening to our podcast.
The young Brit had a stellar 2022. With wins in the high mountains of The Alps and in pancake flat time trials, Hayter is one for all terrains. Most reading this are probably familiar with his brother, Ethan, but Leo is a different rider to his sibling. More at home on long, winding climbs, he has claimed success in the baby Giro - winning the queen stage by nearly five minutes over his closest rivals. With this came the overall victory, and several World Tour teams determined to sign the 21 year old. Ineos Grenadiers, already home to his brother, proved the most tempting. A three year contract is Leo’s reward for consistently strong results in the U23 ranks.
The Hagens Berman Axeon graduate will join a peloton littered with alumni from the U23 development team, including Ineos teammates Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jhonatan Narváez. With a natural affinity to both the high mountains and time trials, stage races and hilly classics, our first young wolf is an exciting prospect for the year ahead.
Maeve Plouffe is our second young wolf for 2023. Although Plouffe may not be as well known to road cycling fans as Hayter, those who keep a close eye on track cycling will instantly recognise the young Australian. During the Commonwealth Games, she was part of the Australian track machine, that, along with their antipodean neighbours, dominated the boards of Birmingham 2022. Plouffe formed a key part of the quartet that won team pursuit gold and followed that up with a silver in the individual pursuit.
“Maeve Plouffe has a particular penchant for punchy climbs and crosswinds, making her a favourite at Flanders-based Domestique HQ”
Although such success has not, yet, been seen on the road, her engine is apparent. Last year Plouffe won the first edition of the Warrnambool Women’s Classic. With 160 kilometers and 1520 altitude meters, it’s the longest race in the world on the women’s calendar. The 23 year old joins Team DSM for the 2023 season, and has a particular penchant for punchy climbs and crosswinds - making her a favourite at Flanders-based Domestique HQ. Plouffe, a feisty rider, also has lofty aims for her career in cycling. She dreams about holding the world hour record in the future! With her strength already apparent from her successes on the track, who knows where the limits for this talented Aussie lie?
Another young British rider finds his way onto our ‘Young Wolves’ for 2023. Mason Hollyman has been promoted to Israel – Premier Tech from their academy team. At just 22 years of age, he’s certainly at the opposite end of his career to many of the big stars who ride for the team, but the chances he will have to learn from the likes of Froome could prove invaluable to the man from West Yorkshire.
Hollyman is one for the climbing, with a fifth in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and a win up Mont Blanc, the highlights from an impressive 2022 season that saw an early promotion to the top team. Whilst young riders often take a few years to bed into their new teams, Hollyman has set himself stretching targets for 2023. Speaking to Domestique, the Brit said he’d be happy at the end of the season if he “finished up there on some nice climbing races, and it’d be nice to get a win in a .1 or .Pro race.” With his early promotion to the senior team and some impressive results at U23 level, his talent is obvious. We will be watching his 2023 season with great interest.
Kim Cadzow joins the ever impressive Jumbo-Visma outfit for 2023 after a strong 2022 season was unfortunately curtailed by injury. Initially a triathlete, Cadzow has transitioned into a powerful all-rounder, one who is comfortable in several disciplines of the sport. Winning the New Zealand U23 time trial championships - in which she blacked out after the finish due to exertion - was backed up by second place in the U23 Oceania TT championships - her ability to push herself to the extreme is unquestionable.
“Initially a triathlete, Kim Cadzow has transitioned into a powerful all-rounder, one who is comfortable in several disciplines of cycling”
The 21 year old is also strong on the climbs, picking up fifth place in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, a position held by none other than Guillaume Martin in the men’s race - not bad company! Although Cadzow is the least well known of our picks here at Domestique, her talent is unquestionable, and, if she can continue to develop like she did in 2022, Cadzow should be an exciting prospect for many years to come.
Lennert Van Eetvelt
The 21 year old Belgian joins Lotto Dstny for 2023, graduating from their U23 team. Similar to Hayter, Van Eetvelt is at home in the week long stage races and hilly one day classics. His climbing credentials were on full display across the 2022 season, with second place in both the baby Giro (to Hayter), and the Tour of Alsace.
Although he was hampered by illness last season, he still managed to perform at an extraordinary level. With few obvious candidates to lead Lotto Dstny for the week long stages races, Van Eetvelt should get his chance to show what he can do during the 2023 season. On the long term, the Belgian youngster dreams of a chance as a Grand Tour rider. He wants to be at the start of his first Grand Tour as soon as possible in his career in order to learn. If all goes well, he might be part of the La Vuelta roster. To be continued!
Our final young wolf for the year is a rider who can do a bit of everything - both on and off the bike! Ricarda Bauernfeind moves up to the World Tour team Canyon//SRAM Racing after a stellar 2022 riding for their feeder team, Canyon//SRAM Generation.
Bauernfeind, like Plouffe, has her origins in track cycling and boasts some impressive results from the velodrome. A particular highlight must be her third at the track national championships, behind the legendary Lisa Brennauer. What’s more, her early career results were all achieved via self coaching, in order to fit her training alongside her university work.
“Ricarda Bauernfeind’s early career results were all achieved via self coaching, in order to fit her training alongside her university work”
Onto the road and Bauernfeind seems comfortable just about everywhere. 20th at the world championships netted her third in the U23 event (because, disappointingly, both championships are decided in the same race). Whilst over in Spain, the spring saw her achieve third in the hilly Ruta Del Sol stage race. Throw in her status as German U23 time trial champion, along with her ability to sprint in a small group, and it’s hard to find an obvious weakness for the starlet.
Whilst Bauernfeind’s goals for 2023 are somewhat measured, with the chief aims of learning the ropes whilst in support of her more experienced teammates; any rider with the skillset of Bauernfeind has the potential to be a star.
There you go, you discovered our young wolves for the 2023 season. Follow our podcast on your favourite platform and stay up to date about their progress!