Riley Sheehan was the surprise winner of Paris – Tours but his well-deserved promotion to the pro ranks won’t come as a surprise to the cycling world. The 23-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, has signed a three-year contract with Israel – Premier Tech after exceeding expectations as a stagiaire.
His Paris – Tours win may have been what propelled his name into the cycling history books as the first American to win the one-day race, but Sheehan had already impressed with a top-10 in his debut with IPT at the Maryland Classic, before going on to produce a string of solid results in the late European races and in Japan.
After scoring such a big win as a stagiaire, Sheehan is hungry for more as he looks ahead to his first official season with IPT.
“I am so motivated to be part of Israel – Premier Tech. Having spent some time with the team already, I have gotten to know a lot of the staff and riders and I was so impressed with the atmosphere. It is really motivating to be joining such a great group of people and be part of the positive team environment,” says Sheehan.
“After my Paris – Tours win, I hope to continue to try and win more big races. It has only made me hungrier and even more motivated, so I look forward to chasing more great victories. I am excited to compete in the spring Classics and see what I can do with the IPT guys there. I am still uncertain as to what style of rider I can be, but I hope to be a very versatile rider who can win and support the team in every race.”
Photo: Sheehan on the podium after winning Paris – Tours
Sheehan’s talent and determination had already seen him rewarded with a contract prior to his surprise Paris – Tours win, explains IPT owner Sylvan Adams.
“When we brought Riley on as a stagiaire for the last part of the 2023 campaign, we wanted to see what he could do at the European races after mostly racing on the US criterium scene. Riley lived up to our expectations and as a result of his solid performances we offered him a contract even before his impressive victory in Paris – Tours, which was an excellent confirmation of our successful scouting. Well done Riley, see you at our training camp in a couple of weeks.” says Adams.
Sporting Manager Rik Verbrugghe reiterates Adams’ words, saying the team recognized Sheehan’s talent from the moment he joined the team at an altitude camp in July.
“We are incredibly happy to welcome Riley to the team for the next three years. Riley has a big future ahead of him, which he showed when he played his cards to perfection to win Paris – Tours, but what also stood out immediately was the way he integrated in the team and showed maturity beyond his years. His time with the Denver Disruptors and criterium racing experience has given him an excellent foundation for his first years as a pro. We are looking forward to watching Riley grow over the next three years and seeing what kind of rider he can become,” adds Verbrugghe.
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