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Lawson Craddock will ride on in 2022 after signing a two-year deal with Team BikeExchange.
The Texan rider confirmed in October that he would be leaving EF Education-Nippo at the end of the season, but his future had remained unclear until now.
BikeExchange confirmed Friday that the U.S. time trial champion would be donning its jersey for the next two seasons to bolster its grand tour and classics squads.
Also read: Lawson Craddock confirms EF departure
“Everything came together quite late for the 2022 season, and I am very excited to be joining Team BikeExchange. The team has quite a history, it has done incredibly well and the team pedigree on the bike speaks for itself,” Craddock said.
“The culture around the team is also very important for me, especially in this sport, and with their family approach, I am sure we can reach top results together. It will be a big change for me after six years with my former team, but I am very excited to be getting to know my new teammates and the new environment.”
Craddock has spent almost all of his career on U.S. teams with a two-year spell at Giant-Alpecin the only exception. He has spent the past six seasons with EF Education-Nippo and took the biggest win of his career this year with victory over Chad Haga in the national time trial championships in June.
With his move to the Australian squad, Craddock hopes to get a fresh outlook on his racing.
“Over the last couple of years, I felt that I was in a comfortable role and this new challenge will stimulate me even more. I will have new challenges, roles, and different calendar of races, so it should be refreshing for me and for my motivation,” he said.
“It’s going to be nice to be the American in the team, which from my previous experience fits quite well with the Australian mentality. I know some of the guys already but of course I am looking forward to the first camp and to get everything started in the best way possible.”
The BikeExchange management will hope that Craddock can give the team a boost after it suffered one of its worst seasons in 2021, with both the men’s and women’s squads struggling to get wins on the board. Craddock is the fourth signing for the men’s squad after it snapped up rising Australian talent Kelland O’Brien, Vuelta a Colombia winner Jesus David Peña, and Italian rider Matteo Sobrero.
“Lawson will be a rider that can bring a lot to Team BikeExchange throughout the lengthy and varied season. We hope that we can assist him as much as possible, allow him to play his cards in races, as we really believe he has the talent to achieve some great results,” general manager Brent Copeland said.
“Together we can help improve each other; he has lots of experience having raced with multiple WorldTour teams and in return, we can provide him with the platform to perform with the help of our experienced support staff. We are looking forward to having him on board and seeing what he can bring in 2022.”