In a key strategic move for the 2024 season, EF Education-Cannondale has signed American cyclist Kristen Faulkner, a move that team General Manager Esra Tromp described as “refreshing” in its audacity. A stage winner at renowned races such as the Tour Féminin de l’Ardèche, the Ladies Tour of Norway, and the Tour de Suisse, Faulkner brings an eagerness to challenge conventional race tactics.
Faulkner, 30, is particularly known for her time-trialling abilities, evidenced by her sixth-place finish on her debut in the 2022 World Championships. But her forte isn’t just against the clock; she thrives on unpredictability. “I enjoy the chess game of cycling,” Faulkner revealed, adding, “I try to be unpredictable. It’s like a game of poker where we can play different cards depending on how we think our competition will react, and that’s fun.”
This multi-dimensional approach to racing caught the eye of Tromp, who noted, “One of her best assets is that she has no fear of racing aggressively. Kristen doesn’t have that fear, and she has the courage to experiment with a new tactic or to try a new race. That says a lot about her.”
Her immediate objectives are twofold: securing a spot in the Olympics for the time trial and becoming a GC rider. But above all, she aims to contribute to team victories. “I see myself as someone who can fill a lot of different roles…But at the end of the day, I just want to win with this team,” Faulkner asserted.
Returning to the race scene after a traumatic accident where the driver of a car knocked her off her bike earlier this summer, her zeal for the sport remains undiminished. “Despite the crash, my love for the sport, my passion for the sport, my motivation for the sport hasn’t changed at all. And that’s a really powerful feeling,” she stated.
So, as Faulkner gears up for her new venture with a team she describes as feeling “like home.”