Tobias Foss signs with Ineos Grenadiers after protracted saga

Wollongong - Australia - cycling - Tobias Foss (NOR) pictured during 89th World Championships Men - ITT (WC) time trial ITT - Wollongong > Wollongong (34.2km) - Photo: Luca Bettini/SCA/Cor Vos © 2022

In a move that appears to have ended months of speculation, Norwegian cyclist Tobias Foss, aged 26, finally has signed with the British cycling team Ineos Grenadiers according to Norwegian sources. The news was reported by Landevei, following a period of uncertainty in the recruitment process, where even cycling star Remco Evenepoel was rumoured to be making a switch to Ineos. That’s still possible in what is shaping up to be a crazy cycling off-season.

Foss, a rising talent in the cycling world, races for Jumbo-Visma this season and has made clear that his new employer choice is being influenced by their expertise in aerodynamics and wind tunnel testing. At Ineos, Foss would look forward to working with time-trial world champion Filippo Ganna and aims to focus on the Olympic pace in Paris in 2024 as one of his major career goals. The team’s usage of Pinarello bikes is also a deciding factor for Foss, who cites good working conditions as crucial for his Olympic preparation.

However, the transition hasn’t been smooth for all. Other cyclists who were connected to Ineos earlier in the year have found homes elsewhere; Carlos Verona signed for Lidl-Trek, and Victor Lafay now associates with AG2R-Citroën. Also, a potential merger between Soudal-Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma could further reshape the professional cycling landscape. Amidst these shifting sands, Evenepoel’s future remains uncertain, but Foss has found his footing.

In a candid discussion, Foss revealed that he has been grappling with health issues that have disrupted his training schedule. He mentioned that his body has felt unusually tired and he has been struggling to find the right balance between exercise and rest. Consequently, he has been out of action since the Renewi Tour a month ago, and it’s unclear when he will return to racing.

Before his move to Ineos, Foss had an impressive run with Jumbo-Visma. He gained prominence after winning the Tour de l’Avenir in 2019 and took a historic ninth place in the Giro d’Italia in 2021. His 2023 season was marred by a long-lasting COVID-19 infection, forcing him to miss the Giro d’Italia. This decision to sign with Ineos seems to be a fresh start, providing him an opportunity to refocus and aim for new heights.

Ineos Grenadiers’ signing of Foss is both a testament to the team’s eye for emerging talent and a strategic move to reinforce its ranks for upcoming challenges. With several teams still below the required contract number of 28 riders, the signing marks a statement of intent for the British cycling powerhouse. In a volatile market, where riders like Foss have seen their market value skyrocket, securing a commitment is crucial. For Foss, the future now seems certain in the colours of Ineos Grenadiers.

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