Jon Dibben hopes that starting his season at the Tour Down Under will set him up for a strong Classics campaign.

The 23 year old believes he learnt a lot during his first professional road season and he’s looking forward to taking those lessons into 2018.

After racing the Classics in 2017 Dibben enjoyed a varied race programme as he settled into life on the WorldTour and the Brit picked up his first win at the Tour of California, claiming the stage six time trial.

He said:

“2017 was obviously a big change for me going into a new team and a massive step up riding for a WorldTour team – one of the best ones in Team Sky – in my first season on the road.

“I’d sum it up as good. Not brilliant, not terrible, but good. I certainly learned a lot that I can hopefully improve.

“This year the Classics will again be my main focus. That will be what I aim for and it’s certainly where I aspire to be, competing in those races in the future. That will be the big aim.

“I start the season in Australia so I can get some early racing, build the form up and hopefully be on my A-game for the Classics.”

Dibben is one of the older riders in the team’s Tour Down Under lineup, exemplifying the squad’s youthful makeup, and the former world points race champion is enjoying being a part of the team’s next generation.

He added:

“When me, [Owain] Doull and Tao [Geoghegan Hart] joined last year obviously we were all friends and now [Chris] Lawless has joined this season. We’ll do Australia where the average age of the team will be really young. The oldest guy we’ve got in the team is [Salvatore] Puccio.

“Certainly there is a real young group and it should be good to build together, taking that momentum forward. For example you see Tao get a good result, and he’s young, he’s a good mate so it spurs you on a little bit and vice versa. So you progress as a group and hopefully keep going higher.”

Jon Dibben
Jon Dibben. Photo©Team Sky

On his first year as a pro with Team Sky in 2017.

“2017 was obviously a big change for me going into a new team and a massive step up riding for a WorldTour team – one of the best ones in Team Sky – in my first season on the road.

“I’d sum it up as good. Not brilliant, not terrible, but good. I certainly learned a lot that I can hopefully improve next year”

On learning from Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and senior riders at Team Sky.

“With this team every race you do you go to win. So that means every race you go to you’ve got a rider in that race who is capable of winning.

“Particularly through the Classics both Rowey and Stannard were really influential, just to see that experience they’ve already got and how they conduct themselves around the racing, the days before the race and the real intensity they have for those races. That was good to see and take into the rest of the season.”

On targeting the Classics in 2018.

“This year the Classics will again be my main focus. That will be what I aim for and it’s certainly where I aspire to be, competing in those races in the future hopefully. That will be the big aim.

“I start the season in Australia so I can get some early racing, build the form up and hopefully be on my A-game for the Classics.”

On being part of the group of young talent at Team Sky.

“When me (Owain) Doull and Tao (Geoghegan Hart) joined last year obviously we were all friends and now (Chris) Lawless has joined this season. We’ll do Australia where the average age of the team will be really young. The oldest guy we’ve got in the team is (Salvatore) Puccio. We’ve got a couple of 20 year olds in (Kristoffer) Halvorsen and (Egan) Bernal.

“Certainly there is a real young group and it should be good to build together, taking that momentum forward. For example you see Tao get a good result, and he’s young, he’s a good mate so it spurs you on a little bit and vice versa. So you progress as a group and hopefully keep going higher.”

On being a British rider with Team Sky and racing at home.

“I think most riders on the team are quite keen to do the British races, especially the British riders as you know you’re going to get that support for Team Sky from the British fans, not to mention being a British rider on Team Sky. It does make a difference.

“I did Tour de Yorkshire and RideLondon this year (2017). British races are known for having good crowds for good reason. A lot of people watched the Tour de Yorkshire over the weekend, certainly you could feel it and the majority of that support is for us at Team Sky – which is really cool”.