Gearing up for 2024

Jonathan Vaughters: ‘I see a capable group of riders that can, and should, surprise at races from the start to the end of the season’

December 21, 2023

We are counting down the weeks until the 2024 season kicks off.

With our team camp recently wrapped up and the Tour Down Under on the horizon, we couldn’t be more excited to get back to racing. In 2023, we had one of our best seasons in our team history with 26 wins, including six national champions jerseys, a pair of stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, a breakout season for Ben Healy, and more – and we want to build on that.

“We need to keep doing what we’ve done well,” says sport director Charly Wegelius. “Playing on our strengths. We’ve made some good steps forward. A rider like Ben Healy, we were super excited about what he did last year and want to see what he does going forward. Neilson Powless also took some big leaps. And then we have riders who are something of the finished product, riders like Alberto Bettiol and Richard Carapaz.”

Charly believes that having riders with a range of strengths and experience is key to the team.

“We’ve got a good mix of riders. Some are arriving at their peak, we’ve got some riders who are at their peak and then we’ve got this new wave of riders coming in.”

That new wave of riders is significant. Of the nine new faces joining our team, seven are making their WorldTour debut.

“It’s a long time since we’ve had such a young roster,” he says. “There’s a lot of optimism because we believe in them. We’re prepared to give them the space to find out how they need to grow and we’ll also give them the space to work through that. As a team, we do well at adapting to what we find once we start to work with the riders, so I’d say we’re feeling a lot of optimism without the burden of any particular expectations.”

Our new signings are all feeling that optimism, not to mention plenty of enthusiasm. Rui Costa is keen to share his experiences with the younger riders. Lukas Nerurkar and Markel Beloki grew up hearing their parents’ stories of being athletes at the highest level – now it’s their turn to write their own stories. Yuhi Todome and Jardi van der Lee, who have both sampled racing with our squad at the Tour de Langkawi, will now sink their teeth in their first WorldTour seasons. Harry Sweeny will be racing his fourth pro season with us and, like Archie Ryan, Jack Rootkin-Gray, and Darren Rafferty, is looking forward to taking the next step in his cycling career.

It’s no accident that our roster features so many young riders this year. Director of scouting Sebastian Langeveld played a significant role in seeking out young talent that aligned with our goals.

“This was my first year scouting so I had a lot of help from inside the team and going through data. It’s a responsibility but I’m super happy with it. I want to be a DS but I also wanted to do something where I can have a different impact as well — I’m really happy with what I get to do within the team,” he says.

“What we did really well was to be in contact with these young riders, to show the team in a positive way, but also in an honest and realistic way,” Sebastian says. “I didn't chase them down or fly to their homes. It’s not a super fancy story of how we signed them, but I think the way we went last year as a team, with a lot of victories early on, and how we approached the riders, helped make us a super attractive team. That's why young guys want to sign for us. I’m super excited to see what they’re capable of in the upcoming year but it’s really a process to see them develop over two or more years. I’m quite confident we’ll see some nice growth in our roster.”

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of EF Pro Cycling, agrees that our riders, from the youngest rookies to the experienced vets, have what it takes to make 2024 a banner year.

“If I look at this roster on paper, I see a capable group of riders that can, and should, surprise at races from the start to the end of the season. I think every manager says something similar this time of year. But we know our races aren’t won in December, and they’re not won on paper. I’m happy with the group we’ve put together. It’s dynamic, and it’s full of guys with attacking spirits. It’s very young, which is exciting, but also a big responsibility for us as managers and for the older guys on the team,” he says.

We are immensely proud of what we accomplished in 2023. Alberto Bettiol opened the WorldTour season by winning the Tour Down Under prologue. Neilson’s fifth place at his Tour of Flanders debut had us fired up for the cobbled classics. Sean Quinn and Ben Healy took their first pro wins on consecutive days at Coppi e Bartali. Ben then went on to win four more times in the season, including soloing to a memorable grand tour stage win at the Giro d’Italia. And don’t forget his back-to-back podiums in the Ardennes. Michael Valgren showed us the importance of showing up and putting in the work. He will return full time to our WorldTour roster. Esteban Chaves winning the Colombian national championship for the first time in his career moved us. And, as he always does, Lachlan Morton inspired us to get out there and ride, for the pure love of adventure.

As we look ahead, you can be sure our team will ride as one as we look to make 2024 our best season ever.

Our 2024 roster
Andrey Amador, 37
Markel Beloki, 18
Alberto Bettiol, 30
Stefan Bissegger, 25
Richard Carapaz, 30
Simon Carr, 25
Hugh Carthy, 29
Alexander Cepeda, 25
Esteban Chaves, 33
Rui Costa, 37
Stefan de Bod, 27
Owain Doull, 30
Ben Healy, 23
Mikkel Honore, 26
Lachlan Morton, 31
Lukas Nerurkar, 20
Andrea Piccolo, 22
Neilson Powless, 27
Sean Quinn, 23
Darren Rafferty, 20
Jack Rootkin-Gray, 21
Jonas Rutsch, 25
Archie Ryan, 22
James Shaw, 27
Georg Steinhauser, 22
Harry Sweeny, 25
Yuhi Todome, 21
Rigoberto Urán, 36
Michael Valgren, 31
Marijn van den Berg, 24
Jardi van der Lee, 22

Share this story

Related Stories