Williams, Stephen Williams, born in 1996 in Newport, Wales. Mega personality.
What about him?
Stephen Williams joined the Academy ahead of the 2017 season as a third-year U23, and quickly a two-year development plan was created featuring an international racing program that fully met his needs and allowed him to show his power and his WorldTour class.
How did he perform?
Even though that he already showed some hints of his potential in 2017, with a second place in Flèche Ardennaise and climbing with the best in Ronde de l’Isard, his first season with the Academy was marked by crashes and bad luck. However, the mental process that Williams underwent during that period made him come back stronger than ever in 2018, and dominate all the mountaintop finishes.
After placing ninth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Williams landed in Ronde de l’Isard as one of the main favorites and hit the ground running already in the first stage, with a solo win in the first uphill finish. Not happy with that, the Welshman went for back-to-back wins and crossed the line in first place in the second day while wearing the yellow leader’s jersey, something he kept all the way until the end. A couple of weeks later he showed himself again in the Giro d’Italia U23, in which he seized a stage win, a day in pink before finishing in fifth place overall.
What was next after the Academy?
After showing himself as the most powerful stage racer of the U23 ranks, Team Bahrain-Merida quickly set their eye on Williams and offered the Welshman the perfect development program in order to fulfill all the created expectations, beginning with a traineeship at the end of 2018 and followed by a two-year deal. After an impressive season, Williams finished his run at the Academy where he truly belongs, the WorldTour.
His 2019 and 2020 were marked by a knee injury that kept the Welshman side-lined for most of the time, but coming to the end of 2021 he was back to his best with a stage win at the Tour of Croatia that help him to cement the overall win and it was followed by an impressive stage win in the opening stage of the 2022 Tour de Suisse and a long stint in the leader’s jersey.