The future is bright for Joe Blackmore. It may not have been a name that many had heard in the cycling world prior to the 2024 season but it didn’t take long for that to change.

Having burst onto the road racing scene in 2024, after just four races on the road in 2023, the 21-year-old Brit has done nothing but impress in his first four months with Israel – Premier Tech Academy. So, it will come as no surprise that he’s already landed a pro contract, joining IPT’s ProTeam on a two-year deal for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

Blackmore added the Liège – Bastogne – Liège U23 win to his palmarès on Saturday, the latest result on a long list that includes his General Classification victories at the Tour du Rwanda, Tour de Taiwan, and Circuit des Ardennes and three stage wins. But this is just the beginning.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first few months with the team and the race calendar I have,” says Blackmore. “I didn’t expect to win so much already. I knew that my winter without cyclocross allowed me to train more so I expected to be a bit stronger than last year, a bit closer to the front, but I didn’t expect to win all these races. I guess once you start winning, you’re on a roll.”

Despite the unsurprising interest from other teams, Blackmore looked no further than Israel – Premier Tech.

He says: “Israel – Premier Tech seems like a really good team, and everyone is caring and supportive. I’ve raced up with the ProTeam a bit already, and I really like the environment and the opportunities I have been given so I was motivated to stay. As for my objectives, I really want to go for the win in every race that suits me, and I have my eye on the mountain bike and road World Championships this year. I’m not a pure climber, I’m not a pure sprinter so I think one week stage races and punchy one-day races are particularly suited to me and eventually, I’ll see how I go at the Grand Tours.”

Blackmore at De Brabantse Pijl last week (C) Sprint Cycling

Blackmore’s background as a mountain bike and cyclocross rider first caught the attention of IPT Academy’s newly-appointed Manager Tim Elverson, who encouraged the Brit to spend more time on the road.

“I first saw Joe back in the 21/22 cyclocross season and I could see something in him so started to keep an eye on him,” explains Elverson. “I’ve rolled the dice before bringing riders from cyclocross over to the road, so I started working with him from September last year. He came to Israel – Premier Tech Academy and embraced the learning curve and has really settled into the family environment we have built, which I believe has allowed him to grow quickly. With the opportunities IPT can offer and the WorldTour structure we have, the progress he can make is limitless.”

While Blackmore is still finding his way on the road, Elverson believes his versatility holds the key to his future as a pro rider.

“Obviously, Joe is very much on the up and it is still unclear exactly what type of racer he will become but my feeling is he is particularly suited to short stage races and the Ardennes Classics. Although, with the way he handles the bike and his love of a hard race, I think there are few Monuments that may suit him. Joe is a calculated racer and with the experience we have in this team, the only sure thing is there will be many wins to come.”

The Brit winning Liège U23 on Saturday (c) Alexis Dancerelle

Blackmore’s promotion from the Academy to the ProTeam sees him join a long list of riders who have made the jump within the IPT structure, a testament to the team’s recruitment strategy says IPT owner Sylvan Adams.

“Joe has been a very quick learner since making the switch to road racing,” says Adams. “And as he’s shown, he is a smart, fearless competitor, and a real winner. Joe’s remarkable results and his new contract are an additional validation of our recruitment strategy, with seven riders promoted over the last three seasons. Signing Joe to IPT was the easiest decision we’ve made this year. I’m excited to see his development next season when he will be up against the best. He’s got a great future ahead.”

Joe Blackmore, Tour du Rwanda 2024, stage 8
Blackmore started 2024 by winning in Rwanda (C) Tour du Rwanda

IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström echoed Adams’ words, highlighting the team’s successful start to 2024.

“2024 is IPT’s 10th season in the peloton and it is already shaping up to be our best,” adds Carlström. “A large part of our success has come from taking a chance on riders, particularly young riders like Joe, over the last couple of years and concentrating on the professional structure and unique atmosphere in the team. I truly believe this is the best place for Joe in these crucial early stages of his career and if the last four months are anything to go by, Joe is already right at home.”