AFTER a year on the domestic scene, following a serious accident in 2018, Burley-in-Wharfedale's Scott Thwaites returns to top level racing for 2020.

The former Commonwealth Olympic Bronze medalist will ride for the newly-named Alpecin-Fenix who have strengthened considerably for the upcoming season with a significantly increased budget from the German shampoo brand and the Italian Innovative Materials company.

Although 2019 was a relatively low key season with a restricted program, Thwaites impressed at the Tour de Yorkshire where he finished eighth and in the European Games Road Race securing a seventh place finish.

The Belgium team, who will ride Canyon bikes, have recruited a number of World Tour riders, who like the 29-year-old, have experience in the major Classics and Grand Tours to support World Cyclo Cross Champion and Amstel Gold winner, Mattieu van der Poel and Belgian Road Race Champion, Tim Merlier.

Thwaites will be part of a team who will race a high level program with early season races expected to include: Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, Volta Cyclista a Catalunya, Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix.

The Burley rider has raced under a whole host of different teams in his 10-year career including NetApp–Endura and Team Dimension Data.

He has three top ten places at the gnarly Dutch race Ronde van Drenthe, was 3rd at the 2015 Nokere Koerse, but it was the following season where he experienced his best results with a string of top 20 finishes that spring.

Thwaites finished the Tour de France in 2017 for Dimension Data, placing in 107th after a top 10 finish in the Strade Bianche race.

The West Yorkshireman is the third Brit on the Belgian squad, joining Alex Richardson and Ben Tullett.