Following a year of accelerated development, including a win at the Baby Giro, Bennett moves up to the WorldTour with American team.

Sean Bennett will make the jump to the WorldTour in 2019 with EF Education First-Drapac.

The 22-year-old American rode with Pro Continental outfit Hagens Berman Axeon this season and enjoyed what he called his “biggest growth year.” He delivered solid results all season, winning stage 6 at the Baby Giro in June.

EF’s team CEO Jonathan Vaughters saw the potential. In a team press release, Vaughters described the conversations that led to the deal.

“When I called Sean up,” Vaughters said, “my question was, ‘Are you a little pissed off that you’ve been looked over while other guys, like Neilson Powless and Brandon McNulty and some other high-profile U23s, have been in the spotlight? Does that irk you?’

“And he said, ‘Yeah, it does.’”

“I thought, ‘perfect.’”

Bennett rose through the developmental ranks as a mountain biker, finding success in high school and then transitioning to the road. He is an all-rounder who still has time to settle on a particular area of expertise on the road. Now, he’ll have a chance to work that out at cycling’s highest level.

“There are a lot of unknowns,” Bennett said. “And signing with EF offered me the most knowns in a world of unknowns. Having familiar faces around me — people I know, I like, I get along with — having that will ease this transition.”