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Logan Owen re-signs with EF Education First

Logan Owen (EF Education First) on stage 2 of the 2019 Vuelta a España
Logan Owen (EF Education First) on stage 2 of the 2019 Vuelta a España (Image credit: Getty Images)

EF Education First have re-signed Logan Owen, retaining the 24-year-old American rider until at least the end of the 2021 season, the team announced last week.

Owen joined the US WorldTour team in 2018, having spent the previous three seasons with Axel Merckx's Axeon Hagens Berman squad.

He rode his first Grand Tour in 2019 as part of EF Education's Squad at the Vuelta a España, and recently made a return to cyclo-cross for the first time in three years.

"I love this team," Owen said in a press release. "Everyone gets along. We have a great vibe. It's a real friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere, but we all know how to turn it on and get down to business. The team feels like a big family, and I feel like I'm a part of the family.

"Just getting selected for the Vuelta was a big deal for me," he said of riding the Spanish Grand Tour, where he finished 126th overall. “My selection was finalised late, and I didn't expect to be at the start line. It was a great experience. To be able to help our team leaders that first week, until we lost three of our guys [Rigoberto Uran, Tejay van Garderen and High Carthy to a crash on stage 6], was a really good feeling.

"I was super motivated," he added. "Being able to race the Vuelta, and then finish the race, after all we went through, that's definitely the stand-out moment during my two years with the team."

As a young rider racing at the sport's top level, Logan admitted that he still had plenty to learn, but now has the chance to continue on that path thanks to his new deal.

"My fitness level has dramatically improved over the last two years," he said. "Combine that increase in fitness with all I've learned, and I'm definitely a different bike rider now.

"I've learned that, at this level, we have to be at our best every single race. And I've learned a few things here and there when it comes to technique – about riding in the crosswinds, how to stay at the front, when to use your energy and when to conserve. It's stuff I knew before but I had to learn to apply it with the best riders and in the best races in the world," Owen said.

"Logan is an incredibly reliable and enthusiastic teammate," EF Education First team manager Jonathan Vaughters said. "He has the knack to always be in the right place at the right time, at the right moment, which has proven to be a huge asset to the team during the spring Classics."

Owen admitted that he's "more of a diesel engine now", capable of spending hours at the front of the bunch working for his team's leaders.

However, his recent return to cyclo-cross, for the FayetteCross in Arkansas last month, saw him finish in 10th place, just a couple of minutes off the pace of winner Kerry Werner.

"I used to be the punchy guy for an hour 'cross race. Not anymore," said Owen, who is an eight-time junior and twice under-23 US cyclo-cross champion. "I've had to change the way I race. But being able to open up the engine I built racing in the WorldTour was really nice. It was a different kind of advantage than the ones I've had previously, and it gave me a lot of confidence."