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Toby Perry from Ashford moves from Equipo La Tova - Asesoria Almudevar to Hagens Berman Axeon cycling team


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Toby Perry is thrilled to be joining what he describes as the best development team in the world.

Perry, originally from Ashford, has left Spanish club Equipo La Tova - Asesoria Almudevar in favour of a move to US-based Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling team for next year.

Concentration etched across the face of Toby Perry, originally from Ashford. Picture: Eriz Fraile / Equipo La Tova - Asesoría Almudevar
Concentration etched across the face of Toby Perry, originally from Ashford. Picture: Eriz Fraile / Equipo La Tova - Asesoría Almudevar

He joins Kasper Anderson, Darren Rafferty, Jack Drage, Dries de Pooter and Ivan Romeo on their roster for 2022.

“I’m really happy to join the team because it’s the best development team in the world when it comes to cycling,” the 21-year-old said.

“So it’s great to be able to join them.”

Perry, now based in Girona, Spain, explained how the deal came about.

“I got quite a few results in Spain,” he said.

Perry on the road. Picture: Eriz Fraile / Equipo La Tova - Asesoría Almudevar
Perry on the road. Picture: Eriz Fraile / Equipo La Tova - Asesoría Almudevar

“Then one day I got a text message, saying Axel Merckx, the head of the team, was going to call me.

“I had a brief conversation with him about stuff and he said ‘Yeah, I want to offer you a place in the team for next year.’”

Perry joins after an impressive 2021 which brought him his first race win in Spain, at the Memorial Zunzarren-Estella.

He followed up with another win in May’s GPVila and then won the general classification at the Vuelta a Alicante where he won the first stage and was second and fourth in the remaining stages.

There were also Challenge B-Guara-2 and Fiestas de Barbastro successes and a victory at the Valencia National Championships, although he was unable to receive the champion’s jersey which is only open to Spaniards.

Perry enjoyed a successful 2021. Picture: Eriz Fraile / Equipo La Tova - Asesoría Almudevar
Perry enjoyed a successful 2021. Picture: Eriz Fraile / Equipo La Tova - Asesoría Almudevar

But when asked how he would describe himself as a cyclist, he replied: “I don’t particularly know yet.

“I will see how I go next year because, in the amateur ranks, you can be good at everything, really, and try things a bit more.

“But next year, I’ll really learn what it is to be a good rider.

“So for the moment, I’ve just been an all-rounder, learning and trying to improve myself. I’ll see what I develop into.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what I become in the next few years.”

Perry has spent time in Belgium, as well as Spain, during his cycling adventure to date, but remains proud of his Kentish roots.

He said: “When I was in Ashford, I studied at Norton Knatchball.

“I first started cycling when I was around 16.

"I joined Club Grappa which is a local club there. I did the club runs and, later on, I joined Thanet and started doing a little bit of racing.

“After a couple of years there, I decided to go abroad.

“I always get nice messages from people (in Kent) whenever I do well.

“I was back in Ashford for six weeks recently and got to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen for a long time.

“It was very nice coming back and seeing people.”

Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling team owner Axel Merckx said: “Toby is a bit of a more seasoned rider that I hope will bring experience to our fairly young team.

“He’s shown that he is a very strong rider and seems to have found the formula to win - and proved it by winning a few races in Spain.

“I believe he deserves an opportunity to show himself on the biggest stage and I hope we can give him that.

“At the same time, I look forward to him bringing some maturity and experience to help the young riders develop for the future.”

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