A month after racing a home World Championships in Wollongong, under-23 rider Matt Dinham has inked his first professional contract.
The climber from Manly Warringah Cycling Club will race for Team DSM until 2025.
Dinham will join fellow Australians Sam Welsford, Chris Hamilton and Alex Edmondson after the latter was announced as a transfer from Team BikeExchange-Jayco.
The 22-year-old Sydneysider has a strong background in mountain biking, which this year culminated in him winning the elite XCO national title in Maydena.
On the road, Dinham has had an equally impressive 2022 season with Team Bridgelane and the Australian national team.
It began with him winning two silver medals at the Road National Championships, before racking up top-10 results in Europe. That included his first UCI victory: a solo win in the mountainous La Maurienne one-day race.
In the Tour de l'Avenir, the biggest stage race on the under-23 calendar, Dinham fought bad luck to finish 11th overall.
His season concluded on a high at Wollongong 2022, where he earned Australia's top result in the under-23 road race with seventh place.
Dinham will now step up to the WorldTour alongside French climber Romain Bardet and Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Dainese.
“Next year I just want to learn as much as possible and be the best help I can for the team’s finishers so we can get the best results,” Dinham said in a press release.
“On a personal level, I see myself more as a climber and GC rider, who has a bit of punch, but I just want to grow as a rider overall with the team and get some nice results.”
The Dutch-registered team was previously known as Team Sunweb and has formerly been the home of Jai Hindley, Michael Matthews and Michael Storer.
“I’m looking forward to joining Team DSM,” Dinham said.
“There is a good track record of Aussie MTB riders coming to the team and doing well like Chris (Hamilton), and I also raced against Kevin (Vermaerke) too in the past. I’ve seen from afar how the team has done a really good job at taking those guys on and improving them as riders.”
Grant Kepler, president of Manly Warringah Cycling Club said, “We’re just over the moon for Matt. He’s such a great kid. He’s worked so hard for it.
“He’s in an age category where COVID and travel restrictions made it just so much harder, but he’s stuck with it, and we’re so happy for him.”
Feature photo: Matt Rousu Photography