EF Education-Nippo

 

American | Team website

EF Pro Cycling at the Tour Colombia (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The merging together of WorldTour teams Cannondale and Garmin-Sharp in 2015 created the team that evolved into what we now know as EF Education First Pro Cycling.

At the time of the merger, the team maintained more remnants from the old American Garmin team than it did from Cannondale, with big names like Peter Sagan going elsewhere.

There was a period of rebuilding during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which were largely devoid of major results for the team. There were some changes in riders, too with previous team leaders Daniel Martin and Ryder Hesjedal leaving the squad.

The signing of Rigoberto Uran for the 2016 season paid off the following year, when the Colombian placed second in the 2017 Tour de France and took a stage win – the team’s highest-ever placing in the race.

However, Uran’s success in the Tour did not help attract much needed sponsorship to ensure that the squad survived into the 2018 season. Team manager Jonathan Vaughters worked hard to find a new sponsor at the end of 2017, and a crowd-funding page was set up to assist in raising money.

The work paid off, as EF Education First was announced as a new title sponsor, with Drapac as co-title sponsor and the team’s continuation was secured for 2018.

Becoming EF Education First Pro Cycling for 2019, the team broke the mould by signing some of its riders up to non-UCI ultra distance races. It also partnered with Rapha, releasing a stand-out kit with unconventional supporter’s ‘bucket hats’.

In 2020 the racing was going rather well with a shock win at the Critérium du Dauphiné for Dani Martínez.

At the 2020 Giro d’Italia, so they didn’t clash with the pink leaders jersey, the team decided to collaborate with skateboard company Palace to make one of the oddest kits ever seen.

EF Pro Cycling at the Giro d’Italia 2020 (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images,)

But, despite the kit they did very well in the race, taking stages three and nine as well as the overall win in the mountains blue jersey with Ruben Guerreiro.

EF went back to their normal pink and blue look at the Vuelta, but Dauphiné winner and team leader Martínez crashed out on stage one, meaning the leadership went to Lancashire lad, Hugh Carthy.

Carthy put in several strong performances and also took a stage on the famous climb up to the Angliru. He managed to ride his way to third in the overall, adding yet another Brit to the list of Grand Tour contenders.

In 2021, the team added another sponsor to the title of the team to become EF Education-Nippo, with the Japanese company giving the American team a little bit more financial backing.