Hagens Berman Axeon-Jayco completed their 2024 roster in late December with the signing of Alastair Mackellar, the 2023 double under-23 road national champion of Australia, and reigning Ethiopian national road champion Bizaye Redae. Along with 21-year-old Adam Holm Jørgensen of Denmark and three other new signings in the final weeks of 2023, the US-based Continental squad features 11 new riders on their roster of 13 for the new season.
Two US domestic riders include 2023 junior road race champion Darren Parham and U23 national time trial silver medalist Evan Boyle. Teenager Matthew Cole of Great Briton rounds out the internationally-diverse team.
“With all of the young riders we hired, I needed to add some U23 experience in the team. Alastair has had great results and will also fulfill a role as a captain for the younger riders on the team,” said team owner and director Axel Merckx. The trio of Mackellar, Redae and Holm Jørgensen are 21 years old.
Mackellar spent the last three seasons at Israel-Premier Tech Academy, where he showcased his talents in breakaways and medium mountain days. He scored his first UCI stage victory at 2021 GP Internacional Torres Vedras and followed with a second place on a hilly stage at Volta Portugal. He was not at the Australian road nationals to defend his titles this week, but new teammate Hamish McKenzie began his campaign at home and earned the silver medal in the men’s U23 time trial.
Redae is the first national champion from an African nation to be part of the Axeon programme, which Merckx began for the 2009 racing season as the Trek-Livestrong U23 team. The 20-year-old, who was third in the Ethiopian elite men’s ITT and 10th in the same discipline at U23 African Continental Championships, considers himself an all-rounder and looks to improve endurance for long stages.
“Bizaye [Redae] is a very talented young rider. He has shown great potential and we will guide him and give him the support he needs in order to fulfill his dream to become a WorldTour rider,” Merckx said.
“Adam [Holm Jørgensen] has been a stagiaire with Jayco AlUla and has shown he has what it takes to be a good WorldTour rider. Matthew [Cole] is the type of rider I was looking for. Despite the fact of his bad crash at the end of the season, Matthew has time to come back and continue his development in our structure.”
Holm Jørgensen was added from the Danish BHS-PL Beton Bornholm squad, where he had stage wins the last two years at…