Slipstream Sports have announced the contract extension of Alex Howes. His new two-year deal covers his 12th and 13th season with the American-registered squad.
“Alex wanted to stay, and I wanted Alex to say,” said Vaughters. “It was as simple as that. He’s been with us his entire career except for one season where I farmed him out to a French team to toughen him up a bit. He’s grown up with us and has grown into the heart of this team.”
“Being based out of Colorado, Slipstream Sports has always my home team,” said Howes. “Over the years, it has become more than a just a team. It really is a family, and I have invested a lot emotionally in the team over the years. The team’s focus on producing results through grit and and creativity echos my personal racing style.”
This year, Howes the Vuelta al Catalunya’s climber’s jersey and four victories. He won two stages at the Cascade Cycling Classic while racing for USA Cycling and he was first across the line on the second stage of the Colorado Classic and the third stage of Tour of Alberta.
Howes has long shown promise at the Ardennes Classics and has made no secret of his desire to wear the stars and stripes jersey.
“I think my stage seven win at the USPRO Challenge in 2014 is my proudest moment in argyle,” said Howes. “The way the whole team rode their hearts out for me and then to pull it off in front of a hometown crowd was truly spectacular.
“This year, my hands down (or is it hands up?) favourite moment was my win in Breckenridge at the Colorado Classic,” noted Howes. “It was the queen stage and the wildest crowd I’ve seen.
“In the coming years, I would like to head back to the Tour de France, find the top step of the US Nationals podium and find that big result in the one-day classics I know I’m capable of achieving,” said Howes. “And I plan to have fun along the whole journey.”
Like his teammates, Howes was hugely relieved when EF Education First stepped up to sponsor the team for the upcoming seasons. He says he was vocal about his appreciation for the team’s newest partner on social media for reasons that extend beyond job security.
“I really believe in what EF is trying to accomplish,” said Howes. “When I was 15, I travelled to Belgium to race cyclocross. That first trip to Europe at such an influential age really opened my eyes to the world beyond the US borders.
“I believe it is absolutely essential that we actively cultivate a knowledge and understanding of cultures beyond our own in order to be good global citizens. Without travel and the study of foreign ideals, we can never possess the empathy and understanding required to cooperate with our neighbours in order to make the world a better and safer place.”
With the new partner comes a slew of new teammates. Howes, who has has played an integral role in creating an atmosphere within the team that feels equal parts personal and professional, is excited to welcome a new crop of riders into the fold.
“When your teammates are simply your co-workers, you can never really give 100 percent,” said Howes. “When they are some of your best friends, you give everything and more. I don’t know all the new riders yet, but I’m looking forward to showing them the ropes. I’m especially excited to see Logan Owen onboard. He’s a great guy with a ton of potential. I know he’ll fit right in.”