Axeon Cycling Team's Logan Owen, who is one of the most popular up and coming racers in the US, will have a leadership role in the under-23 men’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. His strong performances at top-level events Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge in August, and the Tour of Alberta this week, have made him a strong contender for a medal.
“We have a lot of strong guys going, and I might be one of the leaders going into Worlds after the way that I’ve been riding lately,” Owen said at the stage 4 post-race press conference at the Tour of Alberta. “I’m kind of surprised that I’ve been riding so well.”
Owen has contested a series of top races across North American this year including the 2.2 Tour of the Gila and the 2.HC Tour of California before heading northeast to the 2.2 Tour de Beauce in June where he took sixth places in stage 3b and stage 5.
After a short break, he lined up at the 2.HC Tour of Utah where he stunned cycling fans with a win on stage 3 into Bountiful. He went on to start the 2.HC USA Pro Challenge where he continued to perform well with a sixth place in stage 1 in Steamboat Springs and fourth place in stage 3 in Aspen.
He is currently competing at the 2.1 Tour of Alberta where he launched himself into the all-day, three-man breakaway during the queen stage 4 to the Marmot Basin Ski Area in Jasper National Park. He attacked his breakaway companions on the final climb but was caught by the field with roughly 10km to go. His efforts earned him the day’s most aggressive rider jersey.
“I could sense that the guys were not as strong as me on the climbs, so I wanted to get rid of them and really go hard, and make it as far as I could on the final climb. It was one of the best days to be in the breakaway because it was so beautiful out there. We were out there rolling for a good training day.”
Owen is training for the under-23 men’s road race at Worlds where he will be one of the US national team’s leaders. USA Cycling announced the roster this week and it will include two of his Axeon teammates Greg Daniel and Daniel Eaton, along with Colin Joyce (California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) and Tyler Williams (BMC Development Team). Daniel and Eaton will also compete in the under-23 men’s time trial.
Axel Merckx, who manages the Axeon Cycling team, was not surprised that three of his riders make up the US under-23 Worlds team. In fact, all of the under-23 men who represented the US at the 2013 Worlds in Florence were from his Bontrager Development Team.
“I think it is a good course for them,” Merckx told Cyclingnews. “If the race comes down to a sprint, Owen and Joyce are the two riders who can finish it off in a sprint. But Owen has shown that he has a really solid sprint against the big hitters.”
Following the World Championships, Owen will turn his attention to the cyclo-cross season where he will compete in a full World Cup schedule.