EF Education-EasyPost have confirmed the signing of former world champion Rui Costa for 2024, with team manager Jonathan Vaughters describing the Portuguese rider as a key mentor to a host of young riders who will join the team.
37-year-old Costa raced for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in 2023, winning his first race of the year at the Challenge Mallorca and recently his last race in Japan. He also won stage 15 of the Vuelta a España and the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage race, as he returned from a domestique role for a number of years at UAE TEam Emirates.
Richard Carapaz, Alberto Bettiol, Ben Healy and Neilson Powless will again lead EF Education-EasyPost in 2024.
The US-registered WorldTour team has also signed 18-year-old Markel Beloki, 19-year-old Lukas Nerurkar and Jack Rootkin-Gray of Britain, Ireland’s Darren Rafferty and Archie Ryan, and Jardi Christiaan van der Lee from the Netherlands.
“Everyone, including myself, can grow alongside the younger riders. I am growing every year, learning despite my age. It’s true that I like to help but I also like to learn and improve,” Costa said.
“I’ve been a professional for about 17 years already and I’m still as excited now as I was 15 years ago when cycling was everything to me.
“The goals are to keep adding, to keep winning. To start this season by winning, to finish winning – that brings me extra motivation for next year. I want to keep going in the same direction. That’s my objective.”
Team boss Jonathan Vaughters identified Costa’s role in the team, saying the veteran can “translate near-wins into wins”.
“A rider like Rui, who has been racing in the WorldTour for so many years, knows how to win,” Vaughters said.
“What’s more, he knows how to translate near-wins into wins. His experience will be a powerful asset to this team. We have a handful of riders making their WorldTour debut next year, and Rui will be an invaluable mentor to them.”
In addition to Costa and the other riders on the incoming list, the team has renewed with Ben Healy through the end of the 2026 season. Magnus Cort (Uno-X) and the retiring Jens Keukeleire are, so far, the two riders confirmed as leaving EF this winter.