Four riders are joining the ranks of La Conti for the next two seasons: Ben Askey, Ronan Augé, Lewis Bower and Dylan George.
Coach of the Groupama-FDJ Continental Cycling Team
“This is the first time in the history of La Conti that we had such a large turnover, with eight riders from the year 2022 moving up to the WorldTour level with Groupama-FDJ. So we have to renew our team. It’s a challenge. We’re not starting from a clean sheet, because we have solid experience. We’re going to start a new cycle of work, with a younger team. It’s an interesting project.
Lewis Bower, Ben Askey and Ronan Augé are three riders from the junior ranks. Dylan George is a year older and will bring experience to the group. All four riders have a lot of room for improvement. Our objective will be to work with them so that they can exploit their full potential, while they will have to adapt to our system and the Conti level.
Lewis Bower is a rider from New Zealand. He has good qualities as a rouleur, he is a time trial specialist. There is already a history between New Zealand riders and La Conti with Reuben Thompson and Laurence Pithie. It gives both sides a reference point.
Ben Askey is very similar to Lewis: physically, but especially in his approach to cycling. He is an offensive rider with punchy qualities. You can feel that he wants to win. He hasn’t yet had the experience of a structure around him to support him. It’s going to be an important change, I think we have the keys to help him progress.
Ronan Augé has done very well in the Trophée Morbihan and the Bernaudeau, which are the most important races for juniors. He is a polyvalent rider, he doesn’t know his favourite field yet. He was in a good structure, UC Nantes Atlantique, and we have to give him the tools to take a new step. I think we have a good rider on our hands.
Dylan George is an Australian rider. He has been successful in his country but has not raced much in Europe. He is a climber, but he also has some puncher qualities. On paper, he is a stage race rider.”
18 years old, United Kingdom
“I come from Cannock, England. Since I was a little boy I’ve been on my bike. I would say I’m an all rounder. I enjoy racing on all terrain on the cobbles, gravel or tarmac. I’m a punchy rider with a good sprint at the end of a race. I have had short seasons because of Covid. This year was my first full season. I raced for FlandersColor Galloo, who allowed me to get into many of the big junior road races that are overseas for me. I also raced for Great Britain in cyclo-cross and mountain biking, so I was able to compete at international level in all three disciplines.
I wanted to ride for the Conti Groupama-FDJ. I saw the evolution of my brother, Lewis, when he joined them, I have seen how much he has progressed. Through his experience, I know that I have signed up with a great structure. I’m looking forward to the next two years. I think this is the best environment for me to develop as a rider.
Next year I will be racing in my first U23 year. I’m starting at the bottom again. I’ll have to adapt to this level. My main goal will be to learn, to become a better rider, but also to get some good results with the team.”
Main results :
6th Etoile du Sud-Limbourg
10th Liège-Bastogne-Liège Juniors
3rd of the 3rd stage of Trois jours d’Axel
Double stage winner in the Tour of Ireland Juniors
7e de Menen-Menen
18 years old, France
“I started cycling with BMX and MTB. I have to admit that I always liked to have fun with the bike: doing trials, jumps, etc… At 16, I decided to give myself a chance on the road, I joined UC Nantes. All the “acrobatics” that I used to do on the bike allowed me to have a certain agility in the peloton. I manage to position myself well. I also limb the small bumps well and I have a good speed. Of course, I have always been involved in cycling with my father, Stéphane Augé, but I want to write my own story, without being only the son of…
The Conti is the best development team. It offers a race programme adapted to the U23 riders, it is the right option. At the same time, I will continue my studies. I’m going to start a degree in sociology, for me it was important to keep this academic aspect.”
Main results :
2nd in the Bernaudeau Juniors
Winner of Saria Elgoibarko Hiria in Spain
2nd of the 2nd stage of the Tour de Gironde Juniors
Winner of the 3rd stage of the Trophée Morbihan Juniors
5th of the 1st stage of the Trofeo Saarland
17 years old, New-Zealand
“I am from Auckland, New Zealand. I started cycling at 11 with mountain biking and road racing.
For me, the ultimate goal is to join a WorldTour team. Joining La Conti Groupama-FDJ is an important first step. Many riders have made it to the WorldTour level after having done their training at La Conti, like Laurence Pithie and Reuben Thompson. We talked together and that reinforced my choice.
Next year, I will discover the European races. I hope to quickly familiarise myself with this style of racing and test my abilities on different terrains. The objective will be to learn but also to help the team as much as possible.”
Main results :
New Zealand junior time trial champion
4th of the 2nd stage (CLM) of the Trois jours d’Axel
8th overall in the Trois jours d’Axel
New Zealand Junior Time Trial Champion
Winner of the Hawkes Bay Tour Juniors
19 years old, Australia
“At the moment I see myself as a rider who can do it all, I like sprinting, time trialling and climbing. I think that versatility is an important quality, which few riders have. I might specialise later in my career but for now I think it is good to try a range of different races and see what I like and what suits me.
Two years ago I joined the Australian continental team BridgeLane. Unfortunately, I had been unable to travel to Europe due to the Covid lockdown. I was lucky enough to get there this year and experience the European races. It will be a big change for me to move to Europe for a full season. I’m ready and super excited for the challenge, meeting new team mates and hopefully getting some big results with the team.
Joining La Conti Groupama-FDJ was an obvious choice for me. It is the best development team in the world, they have shown that their system works, they know how to make young riders progress. It’s going to be great to have the support of such an important structure, I can’t wait to be there! It’s an absolute honour to ride with them for the next two years.”
Main results :
Oceania U23 runner-up in the road race and TT
4th of the Oceania Road Race Championship in the scratch classification
6th of the 2nd stage of the Santos Festival
3rd in the Tour du Pays de Montbéliard (3rd in the prologue)
Australian junior road race champion
Australian vice-champion in the junior time trial