This might not get off the ground too neatly, but I wanted to invite y'all to help keep tabs on some of the young stars of the sport -- a job too big for one blogger. We know some of the bigger names, like Mathews, Phinney, Van Garderen, and Vanmarcke, but cycling is usually blessed with a pretty good pipeline of talent, and now is no different. The purpose of this is to start looking at the development of some of tomorrow's persons of interest, not merely the handful of "future stars" about whom we know a lot, maybe too much.
To pare things down to size (and save us from the needless exercise of checking in on Robert Gesink and Roman Kreuziger), I have set 1/1/1987 as the birth date cutoff. From the top 300 on CQ Ranking (using a year's worth of points rather than just classics-centric 2011 results), I get the following names:
Boasson Hagen, Sagan, Uran, Van Garderen, Viviani, Blythe, Poels, Swift, Meyer, C., Mathews, Kristoff, Ulissi, Taaramae, Geniez, Gallopin, Galimzyanov, Malori, Oss, Appollonio, Van Staeyen, Roux, Bobridge, Degenkolb, Izagirre, Hardy, Monsalve, Gautier, Kwiatkowski, Lodewych, Ratto, Vichot, Modolo, Vanmarcke, Kruijswijk, Howard, Pinot, and Guardini. Add in the just-recovered Phinney for good measure.
- Got any names to add to the list? I went by points, which is not a great indicator of potential success among the young guys, but it's more than nothing.
- Ready to contribute some posting? I'm thinking of grouping some by nationality, or disipline, or both (i.e. young French climbers).
I have no interest in making this very formal. If you want to start assessing someone on the list right now, in the comments, go right ahead. Breakout posts needn't be coordinated, although it's not a bad idea to mention what you're working on so nobody else starts writing a redundant piece. Thoughts?