FINDING THE RIGHT WAY. He started racing on a bike at 11 years of age, with the Boise Young Rider Development Squad (BYRDS) from his home Idaho. He soon started shining in the youth ranks, as a strong rouleur -and vice national time trial champion- who would later turn into a solid allrounder as an amateur. Axel Merckx’s call to join one of the best development teams in the world, Axeon Hagens Berman, was key in his under-23 progression (2015-18), finding the right pace in training and racing to succeed and complement his presence outside racing, always calm and focused. His good performances in races as diverse as Liège Espoirs -4th in 2017-, Belgium -3rd at Monts-et-Châteaux-, Bretagne, California (already within the pros) or the Baby Giro -where he sustained a serious femur fracture in 2018- opened the doors of the WorldTour to him.
COVER LETTER. After a 2019 season where the main goal was getting himself used to pro racing, the CCC squad already giving him chances at Paris-Nice, Romandie or his first La Vuelta, a big leap forward in consistency, performance and individual results came in 2020. He completed great work for his leaders and did well at time trials: 7th in Poitou-Charentes, 12th -against all big guns- in Tirreno and, most importantly, 2nd atop the Mirador de Ézaro, the demanding finish of the La Vuelta ITT, where Primoz Roglic bested him by just 1”. That was the crown of a really solid race -he ended up in 22nd overall-, which he hopes to show again in other big goals, whether it’s for the team leaders or himself.
ALWAYS BETTER WITH A FRIEND. It’s inevitable to cite in this introduction what is the Movistar Team’s other US member in their 2022 roster: Matteo Jorgenson, one whom Barta has shared so many things with for the last decade and a half. They hail from the very same place in the world (Boise), they shared development teams (BYRDS) despite Will being four years old, and they now share an apartment in Nice -where they spend most of the European season- while making part of the same WorldTour team and having gone through so many experiences together. A reference for each other, now in the sport’s highest step.