EF Education-Cannondale are thrilled to announce that Coryn Labecki will join the team in 2024. The former American road national champion loves one-day races and punchy courses. Her impressive palmarès include stage wins at the Giro d’Italia Donne, the Lotto Belgium Tour, and the Women’s Tour, as well as one-day victories at the Tour of Flanders, RideLondon Classique, and Trofeo Alfredo Binda. She has also won team time trials at the world championships, La Vuelta Femenina, and the Ladies Tour of Norway.
As an adolescent, Labecki’s first road bike was a Cannondale, so when she had the opportunity to sign with EF Education-Cannondale and return to the bike where her career began, she knew it was the right team for her.
“I think it’s really special to be racing on the bike that first got me into cycling. I still have it and now it’s my commuter bike!” Labecki said with fondness.
Growing up in California, Labecki began racing as an 11-year-old, taking up cyclocross, mountain biking, track cycling, and road racing. Across these disciplines, in the past 20 years she has accrued over 70 national titles, ranging from junior to elite. Her 2018 American road race national title remains one of the most special results to her. This year, she won the American criterium national championship.
For team general manager Esra Tromp, signing Labecki was a priority. The two have worked together in the past, and Tromp has seen Labecki’s talent and many strengths in person.
“Coryn is a rider I have known for a few years. She is a really important leader in the team, especially with guiding the group towards a goal. She is a natural leader who can support riders really well and push her teammates to a higher level.”
Being a dependable teammate is something Labecki prioritises. “I would do anything for my teammates. I always stand up for my teammates. I don’t take any guff. I’ve raced for a long time and been in the sport for a long time so I love to share what I know and teach my fellow teammates. The other thing is, I’m always looking for the best way for my teammates to win. That’s always on my mind when it comes to racing. I’m a big team player.”
Labecki is indeed a racer, through and through. “It doesn’t matter what the course is,” she said. “As long as there’s a finish line, my goal is to get there first or to get my team there first. I love the tactics. I love the strategy, how to be prepared, everything that is involved with racing. That’s what drives me every day. I’ve been called a sprinter in the past, but I like to call myself a bike racer.”
Winner of the 2017 Tour of Flanders, Labecki is happiest in the spring classics and one-day races. “I love that all-or-nothing mentality of one-day races. I like really punchy courses, something really dynamic that’s up and down all day, especially if there’s a slightly uphill finish that’s not too long. Races like that normally suit me really well.”
With so many years of racing in the peloton, Tromp sees that Labecki has developed a keen sense of tactics. “Coryn is super smart when it comes to analysing races, seeing what happened and what happened with other teams, and understanding their tactics. She’s also a winner of some really big races, so she knows how to deal with pressure. That kind of experience will help with some of her less experienced teammates. Coryn is a really big believer in finding balance in focus and enjoying the time on the road.”
Taking time away from training and racing is a principle that keeps Labecki feeling fresh and excited to race. When she’s at home in Pennsylvania, she has a few favourite ways to unwind. “In the offseason, being at home is like a vacation for me. My husband and I have a dog named Tank who just sleeps all day. And then he does love his walks, too, so if you say the W word, he’ll perk up and we’ll go for a nice little walk!” she said.
During the pandemic, she and her husband bought a sprinter van and have spent the last few years fixing it up to be their home on the road. “We converted it ourselves. It’s finally pretty much complete, but you can always make it better, so we’re always adding or fixing things. I did my altitude camp prior to the Tokyo Olympics in the van in Colorado. It was a bit of a risk, but honestly it worked out perfectly. We’ve done other camping or training trips in the van. We took it to nationals because it’s a nine hour drive from Pennsylvania to Knoxville. I grew up with my dad having an RV, so camping and being on the road is part of my lifestyle. It was really cool to build up one of our own.”
For 2024, Labecki’s goals are clear. “I’d love to get some wins,” Labecki confirmed. “That’s my jam. To get a win next year would be beautiful and it’s also an Olympic year which is another big goal of mine. Mostly, I just want to do whatever I can to help get some wins on the board. I just love racing and it seems like this team is going to be a really good group to enjoy racing with!”