EF Education-Cannondale: Inside story of the new cycling team ready to take 2024 by storm

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reviewed by Rory McAllister
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The EF Education-TIBCO-SVB squad, which is the predecessor of the new EF Education-Cannondale womens' cycling team, line up on the podium at the Fleche Wallone 2023.
Credit: HoebeleCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Edited from the original.

EF Education-Cannondale is the new kid on the block – and they’re ready to take the 2024 cycling season by storm.

BikeTips spoke to riders signed up for the new cycling team to get the inside track on the team’s formation and its prospects for the upcoming season.

The new team is rising from the ashes of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, the longest-standing squad in the women’s peloton.

Created in 2007 by former professional cyclist Linda Jackson, the team has provided a pathway for North American women to begin racing in Europe, one of the most challenging steps being a rider from overseas poses.

As a Canadian professional cyclist currently based in Spain, I know this struggle well.

However, the growing economic demands of the Women’s WorldTour and the loss of title sponsors have led the veteran team in women’s cycling to close operations at the end of 2023.

The troubles began back in May 2023, when Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) had its dramatic collapse and declared bankruptcy. Clearly, they would not be sponsoring the team in 2024.

Not long after the collapse of SVB, long-time sponsor TIBCO announced they would not be sponsoring the team past the 2023 season either. Their other sponsors, including EF Education and Cannondale, kept the team afloat throughout the season.

However, EF Education and Cannondale had no plans to stick around Linda Jackson’s team past the 2023 season.

Both sponsors soon announced the formation of a new women’s team for 2024: EF Education-Cannondale.

This new women’s team would operate and function under Jonathan Vaughters and the men’s EF Education-EasyPost program

EF Education-TIBCO-SVB Vs EF Education-EasyPost

What’s been confusing for observers watching from the sidelines is why EF Education is pulling away from one women’s team to open another.

However, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost are separate entities operated by two different parent companies. Other than having some of the same sponsors, both teams are totally independent from one another.

EF Education and Cannondale had been putting pressure to integrate both teams for some time. 

With SVB and TIBCO no longer sponsoring Linda Jackson’s team past 2023, EF Education had the upper hand, and Jackson has finally given in.

The collapse of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB meant that a slew of decorated riders would be in search of a new home for 2024. 

This included youngster Zoe Bäckstedt, who eventually inked a three-year deal with Canyon-SRAM in August, and 2023 Paris-Roubaix champion Alison Jackson.

Who Will Be The Key Riders for EF Education-Cannondale?

The new EF Education-Cannondale team, functioning under Jonathan Vaughters’ program, will be managed by former Jumbo-Visma manager and sports director Esra Tromp.

Since the announcement of the EF Education-Cannondale team, new signings were slowly announced over the coming weeks and months. Currently, there are 14 seasoned riders on the roster, which is promising to be a force in the peloton next year. 

Four EF Education-TIBCO-SVB riders will integrate into the new EF Education-Cannondale squad, including Canadian champion Alison Jackson and her compatriot Magdeleine Valliers, American rising star Veronica Ewers, and Italy’s Letizia Borghesi.

Three Jumbo-Visma riders will follow General Manager Tromp to the new EF Education-Cannondale team. Climbing sensation Kim Cadzow, Noemi Rüegg, and veteran Coryn Labecki will come over from the Dutch outfit.

Rounding out the squad are:

  • Megan Armitage (Arkéa Pro Cycling Team)
  • Clara Koppenburg (Cofidis Women Team)
  • Clara Emond (Arkéa Pro Cycling Team)
  • Kristen Faulkner (Team Jayco AlUla)
  • Lotta Henttala (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step)
  • Nina Kessler (Team Jayco AlUla)
  • Elizabeth Stannard (Israel Premier Tech Roland)

An Inside Look At The New Team

There are still a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the new EF Education-Cannondale team.

We spoke with Kim Cadzow, a young New Zealander with incredible promise, to get insight into the new squad.

Although still young in the sport, Cadzow had a breakthrough season, with her most notable finish coming from Stage 2 at the Tour of Scandinavia. 

Taking third on the Queen Stage, Cadzow showed she could hang with the established riders, finishing just behind Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Annemiek van Vleuten

Cadzow hopes to build on this season by bringing her climbing and TT skills to become a consistent and reliable teammate who brings her team to victories.

“I want to be a part of this, giving my all for the team and being a rider that the girls can rely on and trust.”

The team brings together experience and youth, and Cadzow is looking forward to learning from her more veteran teammates to improve her skills riding in the peloton.

“The girls in this team come with good experience and are willing to teach riders like me to learn these skills [riding in the peloton],” she told us. “I know they will lift me up, and help me to learn.”

Being a brand new team, Cadzow knew that things may not be smooth sailing at first. It would take some time to develop a cohesiveness among the riders that would just come from riding together.

“We are a new team, so it’s important that we take the time to get to know each other and develop structures and routines that will help us to succeed together as a team. We need to get to know each other to have trust and confidence in one another.”

Although there is still much to learn about the new EF Education-Cannondale team, one thing is certain: their strong roster bolsters accomplished riders with different strengths, and the team will be one to watch in the peloton next year.

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Jessy is a Canadian professional cyclist racing for UCI Continental Team Pro-Noctis - 200 Degrees Coffee - Hargreaves Contracting. She was a latecomer to biking, taking up the sport following her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition. However, her early promise saw her rapidly ascend the Canadian cycling ranks, before being lured across to the big leagues in Europe. Jessy is currently based in the Spanish town of Girona, a renowned training hotspot for professional cyclists.

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