Team Sky Performance Manager Rod Ellingworth has been keeping a close eye on the development of both riders and explained the team’s approach to working with the duo, in addition to their qualities.
He said: “The idea is to look at the new wave of potential riders coming into the team, trying to think long-term and getting these young guys involved as early as we can. We had Mark along at our winter camp and this is the next progression from that. His results have shown that he deserves an opportunity. He’s made some really big gains on the road and you can see he’s pushing himself hard and learning well. We’re really happy to have him join us and get a racing opportunity on the back of a camp environment.
“Ethan is young and he’s been holding his own well on the road. Looking at his track background and what he’s done there, and what he’s capable of doing is pretty phenomenal. He’s got serious Olympic ambitions and we’d like to see if we can be part of that with him and support him through that. He’s one of the best young talents we’ve got in the UK.
“The priority is for the guys to see how we race on the road, as well as getting used to the performance plans, Sport Director presentations and communication, radios etc. It’s all these bits that you can add on to help the riders with their development.
“Ethan and Mark will join up with us later in the year and we’re looking at a programme of Italian one-day races. It’s better for development sometimes in those longer races as they will get a mixture of different race environments. They can race hard and then sit down, learn from it and work out how to approach the next one.”