James Shaw will be on the men's WorldTour again after a break of four years He's still looking for a team, but what's weird is that Shaw isn't looking for a team with an agent, but is completely independent.
"I'm self-represented, so I don't have a manager and I do everything myself. The ball has always been in my court and to try and sell yourself without results is difficult," he told Cyclingnews. He achieved a great 5th place at the Tour de Slovenia "Slovenia certainly started that snowball effect and it's gone from there.
I've always had contacts in the past with various other teams." "There were aspects of representing myself that I did and didn't enjoy but Slovenia strengthened my CV and then Norway just knocked the nail home," he said.
It’s interesting the way Shaw communicated with the teams "I'd literally get back from a race and pick up the phone. I'd say: 'It's James here, I've emailed you my results, can I have a place?' It was literally as simple as that.
"I'd like to think of myself as quite a straight-talking person. So, I'd just ring them and ask if they're interested or not. If they weren't then I'd just cross them off my list and crack on. I didn't really know what I was doing, although I did negotiate my contract at Riwal, it was just the comfort of knowing that things were being done."
Shaw believes that agents are more focused on their best clients, and that is why he decided to decide his own destiny. "So many agents are up to their neck in riders, and they don't have time to take on another rider.
A lot of them are fully booked and I couldn't really afford to wait so I had to do it myself." "I was 25 this year and if I'd left it another year, then every year it gets a bit harder to get into the pro ranks because everyone wants young riders."
"You see it at Ineos. They've got rid of some of their senior roles in exchange for riders like Ben Tulett and people like that." He described his experience with teams "I had a lot of responses and I got to know a lot of team managers.
A lot of mutual respect was built up and I think that they respected that I'd done it myself and that I wasn't reliant on anyone else. If they weren't interested, then at least they'd reply to me directly. It was certainly a good experience."