The 2024 season is already underway and after another memorable season in 2023, it’s time to look ahead to the coming months and consider the fortunes of the 18 World Tour teams and 15 Women’s World Tour teams (plus a couple of bonus teams).

Over the next couple of weeks, in four instalments (two men’s and two women’s) I will consider each team in turn, looking back at their successes and disappointments in 2023, taking a look at their activity on the transfer market, and looking ahead to their prospects in 2024. I’ll be sharing my favourite moments from the past season, along with my hopes for the year ahead, and a few long shots – you never know, sometimes dreams do come true.

After debating how to present the piece, I’ve gone with the most arbitrary method available – ‘alphabetical order’ so let’s start at the very beginning…



Van der Poel smashes stuff!

Jasper no longer a disaster!

Groves also wins a lot!

It was a season of quality AND quantity for Alpecin in 2023. The team amassed an impressive 43 victories, including stage wins at all the Grand Tours, a Tour de France green jersey and two Monuments to boot, with star turns Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen forming a deadly duo, Kaden Groves turning in one solid performance after another, and contributions from various other team members too. It was a vast improvement on 2022 and about as good as it gets really with a whopping 35 UCI victories, and the Roodhooft brothers will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a season even half as good as this one was.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT: Mathieu van der Poel’s explosive attack on the Poggio that kicked the 2023 season into turbo mode (not to mention the resulting sofa photos)

One small sofa, three comfortable cyclists.

INS AND OUTS – transfers haven't been a big deal for Alpecin this off-season as quite honestly, as long as they keep their aces in the pack – Jasper Philipsen and Mathieu van der Poel – that's really all that matters. The team have parted ways with a number of more senior riders, including Dries de Bondt, Stefano Oldani and Kristian Sbaragli amongst others. By way of replacement they have mainly promoted riders from within their development system, and two young talents in particular stand out – young German sprinter Henri Uhlig, and U23 World Champion Axel Laurance, both of whom will be ones to watch in the coming seasons.

PROSPECTS – it's a definite case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' with more of the same this season from the sprint-heavy Dutch team, with Philipsen and Kaden Groves spearheading the charge of the fast men, and Van der Poel setting his sights on the classics once again. After a dominant 2023, it remains to be seen whether or not Alpecin’s alphas can rack up the victories once again in 2024, but with confidence running high and Van der Poel clearly on exceptional form, it looks promising.

A WISH – just let Cav have one stage, Jasper? Pretty please?

A PREDICTION – a second year in green at the Tour de France for Philipsen

AND A LONG SHOT – a glorious one-day victory for Quinten Hermans; ideally with a swimming pool directly behind the finish line for him to dive into

Overall expectation in GIF form:

Arkéa-B&B Hotels


Vauquelin comes of age!

Démare turns red!

Just 12 wins, none of them at World Tour level, was the sum total of the spoils of Arkéa’s 2023 season, their first as a newly promoted team having ascended out of the pro conti ranks following the conclusion of the three-year UCI points system. Having said that, before injury forced him out, Kévin Vauquelin was building up a head of steam and showing serious promise, and the mid-season acquisition of Arnaud Démare provided some late success.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT: following the contentious departure from Groupama-FDJ, it was great to see Arnaud Démare back in form in the late season and picking up wins on home soil as he heads towards the goal of 100 career wins.

Démare picks up his first win as part of team Arkéa, at the Tour de Vendée

INS AND OUTS – two big losses for the team, Warren Barguil and Hugo Hofstetter, pave the way for a brave new Arnaud Démare-led world, and with two new riders being signed specifically for the purpose of supporting Démare, it’s clear how Arkéa intend to harvest points in 2024 and beyond – it’s all on the man from Beauvais and his fast legs, and with arguably a like-for-like swap with Nacer Bouhanni retiring and the signing of Vincenzo Albanese, there’s a clear sprint focus for 2024, as the team look to build with new sponsor B&B Hotels on board.

PROSPECTS – of course, the year will revolve around the team’s participation at the Tour de France, and management have been clear in stating their intentions early – it’s all about Démare. After missing out in 2023, the sprinter will aim for the 7 flat stages at the Tour with both barrels. The team will also look to Vauquelin to continue his development, focusing on GC at shorter stage races, and to Florian Sénéchal to replicate the kind of form in the cobbled classics that saw him pick up the 2022 national road race title.

A WISH – Arnaud Démare hits the 100 career win mark at the Tour de France

A PREDICTION – a solo breakaway from Florian Sénéchal in a one-day classic that results in him narrowly missing out on victory

AND A LONGSHOT: Démare wins the Tour de France green jersey

Overall expectation in GIF form:

Astana-Qazaqstan Team


Cavendish shines in Rome but crashes in France!

Alexei Lutsenko brings home the wins!

With 17 wins, just of them one at World Tour level – Mark Cavendish’s memorable final stage victory at the Giro d’Italia – Astana would undoubtedly have hoped for better in 2023, particularly given Cav’s early exit from the Tour following a crash. Almost half the team’s victories came from star rider Alexey Lutsenko, and it told the story of the team’s need for depth, as they relied too heavily on one or two key riders for success.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT: One of the moments of the 2024 season, when Geraint Thomas offered his old mate Cav a wheel in the final stretch of stage 21 of the Giro d'Italia in Rome, leading Cav out to his 17th Giro stage win, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I've also added one of my favourite cycling images of the year, from the Tour de France, where Cav demonstrated the importance of the bike throw over the line, even when you're not seated on said bike...

Mark Cavendish embraces Geraint Thomas after winning stage 21 of the Giro d'Italia in Rome

INS AND OUTS – there’s no doubt that Astana are on the up. With Mark Cavendish’s audacious plan to break the Tour de France all time stage victory record in mind, they’ve shored up their resources, bringing in the likes of Michael Mørkøv and Davide Ballerini to support the Manx Missile in his single-minded course. But Astana are riding a wave of change and ensuring that while certainly serving as a central focus, Cavendish is not the only string to the Kazakhstan team’s bow. They have invested elsewhere, picking up talents in one-day racing (Ide Schelling) and stage racing (Anthon Charmig and Lorenzo Fortunato), along with sprinters for the future (Max Kanter) proving that they aren’t just planning on being a one-trick pony.

PROSPECTS – Astana could be viewed as a team with ‘One Job’ going into 2024 – to secure the 35th Tour stage win for Mark Cavendish. But with plenty of talent among the ranks, including their perennial token GC rider Lutsenko, Vinokurov’s team aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket. Just... most of them.

A WISH – It's the same as every other cycling fan across the globe's wish: no. 35 for Mark Cavendish, for the love of all that is holy.

A PREDICTION – a strong performance at the Giro d'Italia with a stage victory for Fortunato

AND A LONGSHOT: Tour de France green jersey to go with stage wins 35, 36 and 37 for Cavendish

Overall expectation in GIF form:



It was an unprecedented season for Bahrain-Victorious in 2023 following the loss of Gino Mäder at the Tour de Suisse. Everything else paled by comparison and it’s hard to offer an objective review of the team’s progress with the tragic events of that day in mind. Having said that, to look at the achievements of the team beyond June 16th in the light of #RideforGino it's easy to appreciate everything the riders went on to do in the name of their lost team mate, and simply applaud. And what they did was considerable. Of the 21 victories the team achieved in 2023, all but 5 of them came after Gino’s death, as the tragedy seemed to galvanise the team and inspire them to go above and beyond. With a trio of Tour de France wins from three different riders, a Vuelta stage and a Gravel World Championships, on paper, Bahrain had an 2023, in terms of results alone.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT – not only my highlight for this team but one of my highlights of the entire cycling year, Matej Mohorič’s inspiring and heartfelt speech following his Tour de France stage victory will stay with me for a long time.

INS AND OUTS – the team haven’t made much of a ripple in the transfer pond, with just a small selection of riders heading in and out. Jonathan Milan and Mikel Landa are two high profile names leaving the team, while Torsten Traeen from Uno-X is the only significant signing the team have made for 2024. Finley Pickering from Trinity Racing and Alberto Bruttomessi (Cycling Team Friuli ASD) are their only other new additions, as the team look to rely on current personnel to deliver success.

PROSPECTS – it’s tricky to predict how Bahrain will fare in 2024. With little change to their personnel it’s purely down to form and they will rely on the likes of Mohorič and Poels to reproduce their strong form from 2023, and riders such as Fred Wright and Jack Haig to step up to the plate and come through with some wins. With no major GC candidates and no major sprinters (though Santiago Buitrago and Phil Bauhaus may not thank me for saying as such) the team will hope for stage wins and one-day victories, but could just as easily fade into anonymity should the form not be there for the key players.

 A WISH – Fred Wright's first World Tour victory - let's go!

A PREDICTION – Wout Poels to complete the Grand Tour hat-trick, and win a stage at the Giro

AND A LONGSHOT: Santiago Buitrago to podium a Grand Tour

Overall expectation in GIF form:



Hindley raises hopes at the Tour!

Victory on the Champs!

Uijtdebroeks Uijt!

It was a relatively good year for the German team, with 25 wins, including stages in all three Grand Tours. Jai Hindley dared to dream he could mix it with the big guns of Pogačar and Vingegaard for a few days at the Tour, taking a stage win in the process, and Jordi Meeus was the surprise winner of the Champs Elysée stage, proving that he belongs among the top tier of sprinters.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT – Jai Hindley scoring a brilliant breakaway victory and making sure the two main protagonists were on their toes.

INS AND OUTS – of all the World Tour teams, BORA can boast perhaps the most exciting incoming transfer, along with the most controversial departure. They swap Cian Uijtdebroeks directly with Primož Roglič, and in doing so they have bought themselves a real shot at this year’s Tour de France general classification, arguably at the expense of their future GC hopes. Other notable departures include troubled sprinter Sam Bennett, workhorse Nils Pollitt and popular breakaway rider Ide Schelling. But they’ve more than made up for it in new signings. Sam Welsford (Team DSM) comes in to support the sprint team, Dani Martinez (INEOS Grenadiers) to provide valuable domestique support, and Matteo Sobrero (Team Jayco-Alula) will lend his time trialling talent to the German side.

PROSPECTS – 2024 has the makings of a great season for BORA. With a strong squad already announced in support of Primož Roglič's Tour de France bid, they have a very real chance of coming third, and with various other strands likely to pick up points (see: Danny van Poppel and Sam Welsford), with Red Bull's financial clout and influence, the sky really is the limit for the Band of Brothers.

A WISH – Roglič to finally shed the monkey from his back and do the job in France. And by that I mean win the thing. Outright. Please. (I'd be kind of OK with him doing it on the final day in the time trial because that's just how he rolls, always with the drama).

A PREDICTION – Lennard Kämna on the GC podium at the Giro d'Italia.

AND A LONGSHOT – Roglič decides one Grand Tour is not enough and does the Tour/Vuelta double.

Overall expectation in GIF form:



Cofidis win at the Tour de France!

No, really, they actually do!

The 2023 resurgence of the long-dormant force of the French team put Cofidis ahead of their French rivals, with two Tour de France stage wins after a 15-year drought. Nothing else mattered in the season after that, who knows if they were at any other races, no-one cares, THEY WON TWO STAGES AT THE TOUR!!!

Jesus Herrada added a Vuelta stage to add to the French team's joy in a season that wasn't too bad at all by their standards, but will only be remembered for those two sweet days, courtesy of Victor Lafay and Ion Izagirre.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT – what else but Victor Lafay's majestic, opportunistic, audacious coup de kilometre on stage 2 of the Tour de France. I think the entire cycling world held its breath. Lots of shouting occurred. And Wout van Aert, poetically, came second.

Victor-ious at Le Tour - Lafay surprises Van Aert and the rest with his late attack in San Sebastian

INS AND OUTS – the most notable departure from Cofidis is Victor Lafay, who swaps one French team for another as he heads to AG2R. Gorka Izagirre comes in to join his brother, veteran climber Kenny Ellissonde joins the team from Lidl-Trek, and the team sign a collection of riders from Pro Conti level including Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal WB), Alexis Gougeard (VC Rouen 76) and Milan Fretin (Team Flanders-Baloise).

PROSPECTS – it looks set to be a steady state for Cofidis in 2024, although the loss of Victor Lafay is a significant blow. While they have some young talent on board, it's difficult to see where big wins are going to come from, so the team might find replicating their surprise success of 2023 somewhat challenging. It would be an excellent season for Axel Zingle to take a step up and prove himself on a grand scale - he's definitely got the talent to do so.

A WISH – a big win for Guillaume Martin

A PREDICTION – Axel Zingle to win a major one-day classic

AND A LONGSHOT – the Izagirre brothers both win a Grand Tour stage

Overall expectation in GIF form:

Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale


Gall wins on Col de la Loze!

Breakout season for Swiss rider - shame about the TT!

Just ten UCI wins in 2023 and it’s clear to see why AG2R fans view their season as a disappointment. While there were a couple of Grand Tour stage wins, there wasn’t much else to shout about, with key riders underperforming and major names stepping away from the sport, signalling a changing of the guard at the Haute-Savoie based team. The season’s highlight for AG2R was undoubtedly the coming of age of Felix Gall, who rode fearlessly to take on the biggest GC riders in the sport, coming close at the Tour of the Alps before succeeding in style at the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT – Felix Gall's brilliant win at the Tour (though Dorian Godon's brave breakaway win at De Brabantse Pijl came a close second).

INS AND OUTS – the team have added to their number with a strong selection of signings, including Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Sam Bennett (BORA hansgrohe) and arguably one of the smartest transfers of the season in Victor Lafay. But they lose the experienced heads of Greg van Avermaet, Michael Schär and Mikaël Chérel.

PROSPECTS – after a slow year, there's change on the horizon for AG2R, with a new sponsor, kit and gear. While we wave a sad farewell to the brown shorts, the arrival of Bennett and Lafay should signal some success, and riders such as Benoît Cosnefroy and the Paret-Peintre brothers are due some wins too. While much will depend on the form of Ben O'Connor, whether Bennett can settle in and rediscover his winning streak, and Lafay delivering on his promise, it's got to be better than 2023, right?

A WISH – Benoît Cosnefroy wins a stage at the Tour de France

A PREDICTION – AG2R will be the most successful French team at the Tour

AND A LONGSHOT – Felix Gall wins Tour du Suisse

Overall expectation in GIF form:

EF Education-Easypost


Powless is the real MVP!

Healy breakaway breakout star!

The peloton’s mavericks had a mixed 2023 season, with plenty of ups and downs. Neilson Powless was generally awesome, displaying his versatility by shining both in stage races and cobbled classics, and generally being visible in a great many races, while Irish campion Ben Healy stepped up to the next level, producing a number of standout performances including a stage win at the Giro d’Italia, matched by his roommate Magnus Cort, who notched up a second Grand Tour stage win for the team in his last season with them.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT – Ben Healy was a revelation in 2023, with his breakaway bravado typifying the EF spirit. His teasing attacks on Thibaut Pinot at the Giro d'Italia when both were vying for KOM points just summed up everything that was great about him last season, the devil-may-care attitude combined with his climbing prowess to produce one of those 'out of context' moments that make cycling great.

Ben Healy celebrates being a total boss at the Giro d'Italia

INS AND OUTS – there’s no denying that the loss of Magnus Cort is a blow for the team; his big character and almost guaranteed Grand Tour stage win per season will be a loss. They lose a few other older riders but their incoming crop of youngsters speaks to the future of the team. They have brought in young British and Irish riders including Lukas Nerurkar from Trinity, Jack Rootkin-Gray from Saint Piran and Darren Rafferty from Hagens Berman Axeon, along with Archie Ryan from Jumbo-Visma, along with Yuhi Todome from their own development team. Experience returns in the form of Michael Valgren, following a year riding for the development team on the road to recovery from his horror crash, and Rui Costa from Intermarché Wanty who they may hope will fulfil a similar role to Cort.

PROSPECTS – it’s difficult to predict which way this eclectic team will go into 2024. Often appearing like a collection of individuals rather than a team given their tendency to avoid major GC contests, the team have a whole host of young, hungry riders ready to show what they are all about. There's lots to love and as fans we can only hope they continue to make waves and cause chaos wherever they go. In terms of converting that maverick approach to success though, it's less easy to predict.

A WISH – Neilson Powless podiums a cobbled classic

A PREDICTION – Ben Healy wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege with a 30km solo

AND A LONGSHOT: Archie Ryan picks up a major win

Overall expectation in GIF form:



Gaudu goes toe to toe with the big two at Paris Nice after discord with Démare!

Madouas MVP!

Pinot retires!

It was a turbulent 2023 for FDJ, with the shadow of Thibaut Pinot's retirement overwhelming pretty much everything else, along with the controversial departure of their more successful son Arnaud Démare.

From the highs of David Gaudu's early season form and Valentin Madouas' second place at Strade Bianche, the mid-late season was a torrid period for the team, with Paul Penhoet's Coupe de France victory and Lenny Martinez' brief stint in red at the Vuelta the only highlights. In terms of victories, the team arguably fell some way short of expectation, despite solid efforts from the likes of Stefan Kung and Madouas, whose French national title provided a ray of light in an otherwise underwhelming year.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT – despite a disappointing year overall, there were several special moments for the team, from Lenny Martinez’s shock at taking the red jersey, to Gaudu riding shoulder to shoulder with Pogacar and Vingegaard, and of course Pinot's lap of honour at the Tour and in Lombardia. But the under-the-radar cherry on top for me was Valentin Madouas riding to victory on home soil wearing the blue, white and red of the national champion at the Bretagne Classic in August.

INS AND OUTS – with the significant hole left by the departure of Pinot and Démare, the team have failed to capitalise in the transfer market. They’ve also lost part-time maglia rosa wearer and former French time trial Bruno Armirail, Jake Stewart and Michael Storer, and have filled the vacancies with solid if not unremarkable riders, the likes of Rémy Rochas of Cofidis, Matt Walls from BORA and Sven Erik Bystrøm from Intermarché.

PROSPECTS – with their talisman gone and the departure of their main sprinter, it’s a shift in focus for the French team, and a shift towards the youth, as Romain Gregoire and Lenny Martinez will step up to leadership roles as they learn the ropes alongside the older hands in the team. Stefan Küng will hope for another solid season and David Gaudu will seek consistency as he attempts the Tour and Vuelta double. French champion and all-rounder Valentin Madouas must step up to the plate and inspire the team following the departure of Thibaut Pinot – the Breton is the perfect candidate for the job.

A WISH – a big one-day classic win for Madouas

A PREDICTION – Gaudu to take 5th spot at Le Tour behind the ‘big 4’

AND A LONG SHOT – Küng wins rainbow stripes on home soil

Overall expectation in GIF form:

So there it is - the first half of the men's World Tour teams have been dealt with. I hope you've enjoyed it, come back over the next couple of weeks as I cover all the rest.

NEXT UP: I preview the season ahead for the women's World Tour teams from AG Insurance-Soudal through to Lidl-Trek - join me!

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