Archie Ryan felt like "the worst rider at Jumbo-Visma" on paper: "Most people didn't know who I was" Cycling

Archie Ryan felt like "the worst rider at Jumbo-Visma" on paper: "Most people didn't know who I was"

Archie Ryan felt like "the worst rider at Jumbo-Visma" on paper: "Most people didn't know who I was"

Archie Ryan's Jumbo-Visma days have come to an end this season. The barely 22-year-old Irishman and the development team of the Dutch squad decided not to extend Ryan's contract, but the young climber will turn pro next season with EF-Education EasyPost.

"Jumbo was actually very happy that I had found a new team," says Ryan in an interview with the American cycling website GCN. "I signed quite early in the year, while I was injured, so I grabbed this opportunity with both hands. I'm very happy that I did. Jumbo was brilliant, and I'll always consider all those teammates and staff as my friends. They were super happy for me when I told them I had a contract, because staying there was not an option after I got injured again at the start of the year. We ended on good terms and that was nice, because they have given me so much over the past few years. They really helped develop me, and I could understand their point of view. That's why I am grateful that EF gave me a chance. Hopefully, it will all work out."

The now 22-year-old Irishman joined the development team in 2020 and immediately finished in the top ten in the U23 Ronde de l'Isard in his opening year. Yet, Ryan didn't rate himself highly in the team of Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard. "On paper, I was probably the worst rider there. Most guys absolutely didn't know who I was. Since then, they've told me they didn't know who this Irish guy was, which is funny, but I achieved some good results as a junior and that put me on the map a bit more."

Archie Ryan considered quitting, but EF physio helped him get back on his bike

After a lingering injury, almost the entire year of 2021 had to be written off. Ryan made a strong comeback in 2022 and was allowed to join the WorldTour team several times. He finished sixth in the Sazka Tour and fourth in the Tour de l'Avenir. He seemed to have a great future ahead of him, but in 2023, another frustrating injury followed. He struggled for months with knee problems and only rode his first race in August. This even made him consider quitting for a while.

"It never really stopped in a certain way, and I just tried to deal with it. I think if it had continued all year, I definitely would have been done with it. It took too long and maybe I would have continued, but I don't think I would. It would have been hard, but I'm glad it all worked out, because I just enjoy racing."

Matt Rabin, a physiotherapist for EF, eventually helped him get back on the bike. "He's amazing, and now I'm so happy because I started talking to EF and that gave me the chance to see him. He got me back on the bike. I've seen many brilliant physiotherapists over the years, but Matt really helped me." Despite the knee problems, Ryan finished his time at Jumbo-Visma well with a stage in the Tour de l'Avenir and a win in the Coppa Citta' Di San Daniele.

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