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Red Walters: Move to Ribble Weldtite is a perfect fit

Red Walters
Red Walters (Image credit: @alexduffill)

Red Walters has signed a one-year contract with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling for 2022 and the British-based rider who rides with a licence from Grenada believes that the move represents a 'perfect fit' as he continues to develop through the ranks.

The 22-year-old earned the chance to race as a stagiaire at Axel Merckx's Hagens Berman Axeon team during the second half of 2021, and although that opportunity was cut short by illness, Walters thinks that the profile that came with racing for the US squad helped attract interest from teams.

"I think it definitely helped," he told Cyclingnews from his home in England.

"The way the cycling world works, just them knowing who I am made a massive difference if, say, I was just racing in France. If I had done that then I definitely wouldn't have been on their radar. It was really good with Axeon. It was just so unfortunate that I got ill right after the first race. So while it lasted it was amazing and it was a really, really good set-up."

Walters was given the chance to race for Axeon after Tao Geoghegan Hart launched an initiative to open pathways for riders and improve cultural and racial diversity within the sport of cycling. Although his racing calendar at Hagens Berman Axeon was cut short, Walters had several leads but the British domestic Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling was the most concrete.

"My coach Colin Sturgess is a director for the team and he put me in touch and from there we had a conversation," Walters said.

"It just went from there really. There were a couple of other teams that I was talking to but they didn't really go anywhere. This is the one that I wanted to commit to for the next year. I think that they're a really good set-up and for me, that's a really important aspect. Having a place on a team where I know that everyone will work together and gel, makes a big difference. It's a friendly set up and it's a really strong group too. The management seem really well organised and the calendar should also give me every opportunity."

Walters has previously spoken to Cyclingnews about his desire to reach the WorldTour and he sees this move as an important stepping stone towards his ultimate goal. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling will provide stability, a competitive racing calendar, and the right environment to develop. This year James Shaw used Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling to re-start his career and he will race as EF Education-Nippo as a result.

"This is exactly what I needed. It's a perfect fit and it's a British team. Some might say that a French or Belgian team would have more international races on their calendar but having a team where communication isn't a barrier should make things a lot easier."

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.