EF Education First has entered the world of professional cycling by acquiring a UCI WorldTour team – officially known as EF Education First Pro Cycling.
The team’s argyle-clad riders have been chased down the streets of Tokyo by fans and cheered on by huge crowds at famous races like the Tour de France. But when a new sponsor backed out of its 2018 deal with the team, it looked like the end of the road. After learning about a crowdfunding effort to save the team and witnessing the incredible outpouring of support from fans around the world through the #SaveArgyle campaign, EF stepped in – making it the newest member of the EF family of companies.
“We have been moved by the powerful way that cycling unites people of diverse backgrounds in a peaceful, fun, and friendly way to achieve extraordinary athletic feats,” said Edward Hult, CEO EF Education First North America. “It aligns perfectly with EF’s mission of opening the world through education and our commitment to bringing different cultures together.”
The now pink argyle-clad team consists of 25 riders from 13 countries, all competing at the highest levels of the sport over 240 race days a year in over 50 races. The 2018 season will take the team all over the globe – from the U.A.E., to Switzerland, to Colombia, to the United States, to China – and almost everywhere in between.
Cycling is a true team sport – and an intensely strategic one. In races ranging from one day to three weeks, the whole team works together to get one rider on the winner’s podium. At the 2017 Tour de France, the team’s beloved Colombian rider Rigoberto “Rigo” Urán placed second overall after a grueling race in which he was supported at every step by his teammates. In 2018, he’ll be looking to again reach the podium, and again his teammates will be right by his side to help him get there.
“I really believe in what EF is trying to accomplish,” said team rider Alex Howes. “Without travel and the study of foreign ideals, we can never possess the empathy and understanding required to cooperate with our neighbors in order to make the world a better and safer place.”
But more than the race results, what really inspires us about this team is their grit, their spirit, and their passion for what they do. They are amazing individuals with incredible stories, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them and their nothing is impossible attitude. Over the course of the season, they will travel the world, explore other cultures, learn to communicate in each other’s languages, and in the process, open their worlds (and ours) a little bit wider.
Follow the team as they race around the world:
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