The signing of Gabriel ‘Gabz’ Cullaigh for 2022 is an indication of Saint Piran’s ambitions for the coming season, writes Colin Bradbury.
The Yorkshireman has spent the last two seasons racing with one of the world’s top outfits – Spanish UCI World Tour team, Movistar – alongside global superstars such as Alejandro Valverde.
Cullaigh caught the attention of the Spanish outfit with strong performances in the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal. In 2018, he won two stages and finished third in another, following that up in 2019 with a first and a second place finish. At the same time he notched up his first UCI Pro win in England in the Rutland Melton Cicle Classic in 2018, narrowly missing out on another win in 2019. Strong performances in the Tour de Yorkshire in 2018 and 2019 (where he notched up two top 10 stage finishes) confirmed his status as a rising star.
Signing for Movistar at the end of 2019 was due reward, but unfortunately his time in the World Tour coincided with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a result, Cullaigh managed fewer than 50 days of racing in total in those two years.
Nevertheless, he picked up some valuable experience at the top level, racing in one day classics, including Paris-Roubaix and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as well as World Tour Stage races such as The Tour Down Under and The Tour of Poland. He also raced alongside Saint Piran in the 2021 Tour of Britain, the fourth time he has competed in his home tour.
All-in-all, it’s clear that Cullaigh will be an enormous asset to Saint Piran as the team enters its second season at the Continental level.
“It’s a very exciting prospect to be joining Saint Piran,” Cullaigh said. “They have stepped up a lot in the last year and I’m aiming to help to push them further and get back to my winning ways after two years at World Tour level. They have a fantastic vision and I’m honoured to become part of that.”
His goal for 2022 is to re-group at Continental level with Saint Piran with an eye to stepping back up to the World Tour circuit in the future.
Saint Piran Directeur Sportif / Team Manager said: “I’m really excited to have a high-value asset on board in the form of Gabz. The aim is to launch him back into the World Tour with more confidence and wins than before.”