American Logan Owen will graduate to the WorldTour, set to ride for the Slipstream organization under the EF Education First-Drapac moniker in 2018.
The 22-year-old raced for Axeon Hagens Berman, a Pro Continental outfit, for the last four years. His move to the WorldTour team currently known as Cannondale-Drapac comes a year after he gave up cyclocross racing to focus purely on the road.
“Regardless of if I got that contract or not, it was the right decision,” Owen said. “I needed to put all my eggs into one basket to see what I could do. I’m beyond stoked that it all worked out and that I can make this next step up to the WorldTour with Slipstream Sports.”
Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters added: “Logan’s a really cool kid. He shows a knack for how to win races creatively and has demonstrated incredible tactical intelligence.”
Owen won 10 national cyclocross championships — eight at the junior level and two in the under-23 ranks. On the road, he earned a stage win at the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and rode to victory in the 2016 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs.
“I tend to be better at classics-type races,” Owen said. “Getting to learn from Sep [Vanmarcke] is one of the biggest reasons that I’m looking forward to the spring. I’m excited about all my new teammates actually. [Rigoberto] Uran is a legend. I already know Alex Howes, so it will be cool to race with him.”
Cannondale recently signed a new deal with EF Education First for 2018 after a crowdfunding campaign raised awareness and interest. Vaughters said he would have to fold the team if he wasn’t able to secure sponsorship dollars for the season.
“Vaughters seems to have a really good plan to develop me,” Owen said. “I’ve seen this team support the development of young riders over the last couple years, which has been really cool, and it gives me confidence in the team’s ability to help me develop as the top level of the sport.”