Canadian cycling is in the spotlight thanks to Derek Gee’s outstanding Giro d’Italia and now his fellow countryman Riley Pickrell is set to follow in his footsteps by turning pro with Israel – Premier Tech in 2024.

The 21-year-old sprinter is in his third year with Israel – Premier Tech Academy, during which time team management has been impressed by his sprinting prowess and never give up attitude.

I am excited to welcome Riley to IPT in 2024. Following in the footsteps of his former Academy teammates, Derek Gee, Marco Frigo and Mason Hollyman, racing in our U23 Continental development program, Riley has shown real promise, and has earned his spot on our team. He is one of several great prospects in our system from Canada, in addition to our promising group of young riders from Israel. Welcome, Riley, we are expecting great things from you next year,” says IPT owner Sylvan Adams.

Pickrell’s two year deal is part of the team’s focus on recruiting young talent, a focus validated by the success of IPT’s young riders at the Giro d’Italia says IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström.

Riley Pickrell is one of the top sprinters in the U23 ranks and a rider we believe has a big career ahead of him, so it was a natural decision to sign him as a neo pro for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. His stage win in last year’s Giro d’Italia Giovani U23 was a sign of what is to come, and he again came close to victory on multiple occasions at this year’s Tour de Bretagne. Riley will be the fifth rider to step up from the Academy to the ProTeam since the inception of our development team in 2020 and our results at this year’s Giro d’Italia were a testament to the success of our development program,” explains Carlström.

Pickrell feels ready to make the step up having grown as a rider in his three years with IPT Academy, which have included multiple races with the ProTeam.

I’m super happy to be making the step up to the ProTeam in 2024. Over the last three years, I have grown a lot within the development team and I feel I am ready to make the step up. I’ve really enjoyed the last three years with the Academy, it has given me a fantastic opportunity to learn how to become a bike racer and develop into a rider who can be competitive at the pro level. I’m looking forward to continuing to develop over the next two years and taking any opportunity I can to perform to the best of my abilities,” says Pickrell.

Having watched his former teammates shine at the Giro d’Italia, the British Colombia native is eager to rise to the occasion in 2024.

It has been amazing to see what my former Academy teammates have done at the Giro d’Italia this year. It has really motivated me to see what I can do next year and has shown me what is possible. Over the next 2 years, I hope to continue the expectation created by former Academy graduates and show the quality of riders this program is producing by hopefully getting results for the team and myself.”