Double Giro d’Italia Donne stage winner Kristen Faulkner will be racing for US team EF Education-Cannondale in 2024. Faulkner joins the team with two stated goals for next season: to compete at the Olympic Games in Paris and with goals of developing as a general classification leader.
“I want to make the Olympics squad for the time trial, and I want to become more of a GC rider. I’ll probably go for results in races with a time trial. Depending on the race, I can see myself supporting the team or working on being a GC rider. I see myself as someone who can fill a lot of different roles,” Faulkner said in a team press release.
“I don’t have one distinct thing that I’m good at – I’m not a pure climber, I’m not a pure sprinter – and that gives me a lot of freedom to try different things. The team can use that to our advantage by using me to make the race unpredictable, someone who can win a race but in a very unpredictable way. But at the end of the day, I just want to win with this team.”
The 30-year-old North American, currently at the Jayco-AIUla squad, is a well-known allrounder, with her top victories to date the 2022 Giro d’Italia Donne prologue and mountainous stage 9, along with the overall mountains classification in the same race. Faulkner has also won a time trial in the 2022 Tour de Suisse and narrowly held off the bunch in the opening stage of the 2021 Tour of Norway.
“One of her best assets is that she has no fear of racing aggressively,” said the team’s general manager, Esra Tromp. “We’ve seen riders in the peloton being afraid to find their limits and to try something different. It’s really refreshing with Kristen that she doesn’t have that fear, and she has the courage to experiment with a new tactic or to try a new race. That says a lot about her.”
Faulkner turned pro in 2020 with the TIBCO-SVB squad, claiming a notable solo mountain top win ahead of teammate Lauren Stephen in the Tour Cycliste Féminin de l’Ardeche. That team became EF Education-TIBCO-SVB during 2022 and 2023; however, it is set to fold at the end of this season.
The new women’s team, EF Education-Cannondale, is set to launch with a Continental licence in 2024.
“The first reason I wanted to sign with the team was that I really wanted to go back to an American team. Being an American on an American team is important to me. The second reason is that I really aligned with the values of the sponsors, in particular with EF Education First being an…