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EF Education-EasyPost Launches EF Education-Cannondale Women’s Team

Zoe Backstedt National CX 2023 Punch

EF Education-EasyPost, the American cycling outfit, has announced the creation of a new women’s team, which will compete from 2024. The team will be co-sponsored by the renowned bike brand, Cannondale, and thus will carry the name EF Education-Cannondale.

The news is slightly unusual, considering that EF Education is already a title sponsor for the current women’s team, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB. However, the company behind the men’s team managed by Jonathan Vaughters does not own this team. Instead, the license is under the control of Linda Jackson, who recently revealed that two significant sponsors, TIBCO and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), are pulling their support. Jackson is currently in the process of finding replacement sponsors to ensure the team’s continuity.

Despite this existing relationship, the recent announcement from EF Education-EasyPost about the creation of a new women’s team makes no mention of the current EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team. The EF Education-Cannondale team has been confirmed as a new entity but what isn’t clear is whether it will take over the current team’s licence and go straight into the WWT for 2024. Other alternatives include the team being a development team, creating the same development path that say AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-step has or if it will try and earn its way up to the WWT at the next selection in 2026.

EF Education-EasyPost will join the ranks of WorldTeams that feature both men’s and women’s sides. Other notable teams include Jumbo-Visma, Team DSM, Alpecin-Deceuninck (Fenix-Deceuninck), Movistar, UAE Emirates (UAE Team ADQ), Trek-Segafredo (soon to be Lidl-Trek), Jayco AlUla, Cofidis, Arkéa-Samsic (Arkéa), and Soudal Quick-Step (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step).

The men’s team, EF Education-EasyPost, boasts star cyclists such as Richard Carapaz and Rigoberto Uran. With the establishment of a women’s arm in 2024, the brand is making significant strides in the cycling industry. The newly formed team aims to be “the best in the sport” and promises to compete with character, win races, and inspire more women to ride.

Current partners of EF Education-Easypost, including clothing company Rapha, helmet brand POC, and cycling technology firm Wahoo, will extend their support to the newly formed team. If the team isn’t under the same umbrella as the Linda Jackson-owned entity, that’s another headache to solve.

Jonathan Vaughters, who oversees the men’s team, has previous experience managing women’s teams. He ran the ill-fated AA squad, whose business aspects were managed by Vaughters’ company, Slipstream, for the 2012 season. The team, however, folded at the end of the season due to sponsorship issues.

Despite the unclear future of the EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team and the finance concern arising from the collapse of title sponsor Silicon Valley Bank in March, the team was funded through the 2023 season. Expect to hear more on this story as details about the new team emerge and where the riders of the current EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team are headed.