The pair, who have been the leading proponents of EF's 'alternative' off-road calendar, were not on the initial list of riders registered with the UCI for 2022 but have now been confirmed as part of a UCI-maximum 31-rider squad.
"This has the potential to be the strongest roster we’ve ever had," said team boss Jonathan Vaughters. "It’s 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 full new team name – as well as the new jersey – set to be revealed later this week. On Thursday, the team named their 31 riders for 2022 and set out their ambitions for the coming season.
Rigoberto Urán and Hugh Carthy remain the Grand Tour leaders and Alberto Bettiol and Michael Valgren spearhead the spring Classics, while Neilson Powless targets the hillier one-day races, Magnus Cort looks for breakaways and selective sprints, and Stefan Bissegger rivals the world's best against the clock.
The core remains but there is significant change, with 10 riders - including Sergio Higuita and Lawson Craddock - leaving and 11 new faces coming in. The biggest signing is that of Mark Padun, a double stage winner at the Critérium du Dauphiné, who Vaughters has declared one of the biggest talents he has seen after revealing the extensive background checks he performed.
Another big name joining the team is former Grand Tour podium finisher and Il Lombardia champion Esteban Chaves from BikeExchange, while the 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 one third of the team so that’s a pretty extreme turnover, but that’s been with some very specific intent in changing the way that we race and changing what we’re focused on," Vaughters said.
"It’s an extremely opportunistic team that can win on almost any terrain and that’s what I want to remain focused on. 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 really far reaching in a way that they probably never have been before in the long history of this team.
"I’m most excited about the prospect of doing some stuff that we haven’t done before. Chasing stage wins, we’ve done that. We’re quite good at it and we will continue to do it but when I say stuff we haven’t done before I mean go after King of the Mountains jerseys in a way that maybe we haven’t focused on in the past."
There was no mention of any off-road plans but they will no doubt revolve around Morton, who completed his own solo Tour de France last year, and Howes, who has raced extensively on gravel.
EF Education for 2022
- Daniel Arroyave (Colombia)
- 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
- Łukasz Wiśniowski, Poland
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.
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