US national road champion Alex Howes will continue his tenure with EF Education First Pro Cycling, signing on for another two seasons. The 31-year-old has been a part of the various iterations of the team since he was a teenager and has spent his entire professional career in argyle.
“The team has changed a lot over the years, but the core ethos and mentality of the team has always remained the same,” said Howes. “We’ve always been the plucky underdogs who find ways to win with craft and grit. That mentality has really resonated with me and keeps me coming back.”
“Alex is the longest standing member of the team,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He might be the guy with the most years on any one team anywhere in the world. He has been an intelligent and well-spoken member of this team since he was 13-years-old.”
This time Howes returns with the stars and stripes jersey. The winner of the 2019 US National Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, Howes has long-cited a national road win as a season objective.
“Racing in the jersey has been a dream come true,” said Howes. “Every time I pin a number onto the USA national champion’s jersey, I get goose bumps. I cannot wait to wear it in some big European races next spring.”
“Wearing the stars and stripes is a just reward for all Alex has put into this sport,” said Vaughters. “We couldn’t be more excited about helping him show off the jersey in 2020 – and hopefully beyond, too.”
Howes has long been an advocate of the type of alternative racing the team formally introduced this season. He has spent several off-seasons racing cyclocross locally and lined up for the Leadville 100 in 2016. Naturally he was well-poised to race and relish in our alternative racing calendar, first at Dirty Kanza and then a Leadville 100 appearance. Howes even managed to sneak in a Tushar in the Crusher start on his own.
“Alternative racing puts a giant smile on my face from early pre-dawn start to late afternoon finish,” said Howes. “These grassroots type events have my heart.”
If alternative racing has provided Howes with a renewed sense of motivation, so, too, has his teammates accomplishments this year. That’s to be expected. His teammates have always offered up plenty of inspiration on the road. This time, though, it’s off-the-bike accomplishments that have inspired.
“Using EF programs and taking EF classes, two of our young Colombians have learned English ridiculously fast,” said Howes. “Their quick learning has been a real motivator for me to improve my Spanish. I don’t want to be left in the dust.”
Howes will spend his off-season in his new mountain home. A Colorado native, Howes and his wife bought a house in Nederland last year.
“We’re putting the final touches on winter prep up in high country,” he said. “Chopping wood, putting on the snow tires, sealing windows. We’re nearly ready for the deep freeze, but we were pretty happy to skip the first big snow storm by heading to Costa Rica. Vacation is a beautiful way to explore the world.”