Isle of Man cyclist Max Walker has joined up with fellow Manxman Mark Cavendish at Astana Qazaqstan.

The 22-year-old will ride for the Kazakhstan outfit’s development team for the 2024 season and it is hoped that he will also feature in Astana’s main UCI WorldTour team (alongside Cav).

Walker spent the last three seasons with the British Trinity Racing team with whom he enjoyed a particularly successful 2023. Notable results included winning the youth class at the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal and impressive performances in the Tour of Britain and Beaumont Trophy.

On an international level, Max represented Great Britain in the UCI World Road Championships in Glasgow when claiming a top-10 finish in the under-23 men’s race.

Walker also clinched a silver medal in the equivalent time trial at the British National Championships.

After a brief stint with Saint Piran earlier this year, Max has now made the considerable step up to Astana where he will be hoping to make his mark in both the development team and then hopefully the WorldTour squad.

Speaking about the move, a delighted Walker told the Astana website: ‘I’m thrilled to be joining the Astana project for the 2024 season. It’s an honour to join such a prestigious and well-established group.

‘The development team has a really solid racing program and the support I need to help me reach my full potential. At the same time, I can’t wait to get a chance to race with the WorldTour team, gain experience and learn from some of the most talented riders in the world. I’ll be giving it my absolute all to help the team achieve some wins.

‘An incredible bonus and privilege for me about joining the Astana project is to be given the chance to train and race alongside a fellow Manxman and someone I have admired all of my cycling career, Mark Cavendish.

‘I’ve grown up riding bikes and aspired to be part of such a world-class set-up since I first started cycling in the Isle of Man. When I started out aged eight, the very first cycling outfit bought for me by parents was the Astana team kit! It’s just amazing to think that I’m now part of the Astana family.

‘I spent several wonderful years in Trinity Racing team and was set to continue with Saint Piran in 2024, so I’d like to thank this team for letting me use this opportunity and make a step ahead in my career with Astana Project.’