Ben King will be looking to make his Grand Tour debut in 2014 after securing a move from RadioShack Leopard to Garmin-Sharp. The 24-year-old turned professional with RadioShack but found his options limited in stage races. However Garmin, having made a raft of changes, may provide King with more opportunities.
“I think I’ll be on a similar race programme to Andrew Talansky. I’m looking forward to that and I’ve got a lot of friends on the team, guys I’ve known and grown up with racing with through the under 23 ranks. The big difference between Garmin and RadioShack for next season is the average age of the teams,” he told Cyclingnews.
“I was one of the youngest guys at Shack and that afforded me a lot of learning opportunities and gave me a lot of guys to look up to. The average age [on Garmin] next year is going to be around 25, and as a 24-year-old I’m right there. I think you have some experienced guys for sure but there’s going to be a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”
Talansky’s 2014 programme has yet to be confirmed but the American finished 10th in the Tour de France on his debut. With teammate Dan Martin targeting the Giro at the very least, Talansky may well compete in the Tour once again.
“We worked really well together in the past. His style of racing, I can really complement that. He’s an all rounder and I can ride on the front and try and control the race for him a bit more. We’re good at the same style of races but have different strengths,” King said.
King was mainly used a domestique at RadioShack, competing in one-day races and stage races but his chance in Grand Tours never came.
“That was unclear to me, why in the three years I had at RadioShack I never had the chance to do a Grand Tour. That was my goal and I think it would have been good for my development. I’m looking forward to that in 2014, whether it’s the Tour or the Vuelta. I think I’ll have more chances for myself in breaks and I’ll be looking to working on my time trialling. I’m ready for more responsibility.”