James Fouche has been signed as a stagiaire with Mitchelton-SCOTT for the rest of the 2019 season.  

The transfer season continues to bring exciting news New Zealand’s way.  After the announcement that Sam Gaze would be racing for Deceuninck-QuickStep on a stagiaire basis for the rest of the season, it was announced that the 2019 New Zealand national road race champion and U23 time trial champion would be riding in the colours of Mitchelton-SCOTT.

After the manor in which Fouche won the road race in Napier back in January there was a certain sense of inevitability that a big call up of some description would be heading his way.  What followed for Fouche was a reputation as being arguably the king of king of the mountains classifications.  Victories in three out of six stage race KOM classifications went his way in Belgium, Portugal and Turkey.  

His performances in one-day events have also garnered a great deal of attention from Gent-Wevelgem where he placed sixth to Paris-Roubaix where his strong 14th place finish disguised a crash that would rule him out of the U23 Giro d’Italia.  He returned to racing after almost two months out at the Tour Alsace where he finished fourth in the opening team time trial prologue and briefly held place as the best young rider in the race.

Fouche’s transfer means he will potentially be eligible to race in World Tour events in Europe, Canada and China between now and late October.  He joins Kiwi compatriots Dion Smith, Jack Bauer, Sam Bewley and NZ’s favourite Aussie in Robert Stannard at the team; along with fellow new signings Kaden Groves and Barnabas Peák.

Photo Marion Wright/RoadCycling.co.nz

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