The EF Education team have confirmed their full roster for the 2022 season, with Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes both remaining on board.
The duo, who have been a major proponent of EF’s ‘alternative’ off-road calendar, were not on the initial list of UCI registered riders for 2022, but have now been confirmed as part a team of up to 31 UCI riders.
“It has the potential to be the strongest roster we’ve ever had,” said team boss Jonathan Vaughters. “This is a dynamic, fun, interesting and very high potential roster of riders.”
The team were known as EF Education-Nippo in 2021, but Nippo is stepping down as title sponsor, with the team’s new full name – along with the new jersey – due to be revealed later this week. On Thursday, the team named their 31 riders for 2022 and outlined their ambitions for the coming season.
Rigoberto Urán and Hugh Carthy remain the leaders of the Grand Tour and Alberto Bettiol and Michael Valgren spearhead the Spring Classics, while Neilson Powless targets more hilly day races, Magnus Cort seeks breakaways and selective sprints , and Stefan Bissegger competes with the best in the world against the clock.
The core remains but there is a significant change, with 10 riders – including Sergio Higuita and Lawson Craddock – leaving and 11 new faces entering. The biggest recruit is that of Mark Padun, two-time stage winner at the Critérium du Dauphiné, whom Vaughters has declared one of the greatest talents he has seen after revealing the extensive background checks he carried out.
Another big name joining the team is former Grand Tour podium and Il Lombardia champion Esteban Chaves of BikeExchange, while other new riders are Owain Doull (Ineos), Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty), Ben Healy (Trinity), Merhawi Kudus (Astana), Sean Quinn (Hagens Berman Axeon), James Shaw (Ribble-Weldtite), Georg Steinhauser (Tirol-KTM), Marijn van den Bergh (FDJ Conti) and Lukasz Wisniowski (Qhubeka-NextHash) .
“We changed a third of the team, so that’s a pretty extreme turnover, but it was with a very specific intention to change the way we run and change what we’re focusing on,” said Vaughters said.
“They are an extremely opportunistic team that can win in almost any terrain and that’s what I want to stay focused on. No more stage wins, and those wins can come in any way, shape or form. with our team which is the fun part, the possibilities this year are very extensive in a way that they have probably never been before in this team’s long history.
“I’m very excited to do things that we’ve never done before. Continuing the stage wins, we did. We’re pretty good at it and we’ll continue to do it, but when I say stuff we haven’t done that before, I mean, chasing the King of the Mountains jerseys in a way we might not have focused on in the past. “
There was no mention of any off-road projects, but they will no doubt revolve around Morton, who completed his own Tour de France solo last year, and Howes, who raced a lot on gravel.
EF Education for 2022
- Alberto Bettiol, Italy
- Stefan Bissegger, Switzerland
- Jonathan Caicedo, Ecuador
- Diego Camargo, Colombia
- Simon Carr, France / Great Britain
- Hugh Carthy, Great Britain
- Esteban Chaves, Colombia
- Owain Doull, Great Britain
- Odd Christian Eiking, Norway
- Ruben Guerreiro, Portugal
- Ben Healy, Ireland
- Alex Howes, United States of America
- Jens Keukeleire, Belgium
- Merhawi Kudus, Eritrea
- Sebastian Langeveld, Netherlands
- Lachlan Morton, Australia
- Hideto Nakane, Japan
- Magnus Cort Nielsen, Denmark
- Mark Padun, Ukraine
- Neilson Powless, United States of America
- Sean Quinn, United States of America
- Jonas Rutsch, Germany
- Thomas Scully, New Zealand
- James Shaw, Great Britain
- Georg Steinhauser, Germany
- Rigoberto Urán, Colombia
- Michael Valgren, Denmark
- Marijn van den Berg, Netherlands
- Julius van den Berg, Netherlands
- ukasz Wiśniowski, Poland