Slipstream Sports announced the signing of American Logan Owen on Wednesday. The 22-year-old has spent the last four seasons racing for Axel Merckx’s U23 program, Axeon-Hagens Berman, where he became the first American to win Liège-Bastogne-Liége and delivered the team’s first Tour of Utah stage win. A ten-time cyclocross national champion, Owen gave up ‘cross in 2016 in pursuit of a WorldTour contract.
“Regardless of if I got that contract or not, it was the right decision,” said Owen. “I needed to put all my eggs into one basket to see what I could do. I’m beyond stoked that it all worked out and that I can make this next step up to the WorldTour with Slipstream Sports.”
“Logan’s a really cool kid,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He shows a knack for how to win races creatively and has demonstrated incredible tactical intelligence.”
Owen considers himself a Classics specialist although he’s yet to determine if his talents are best leveraged over the cobbles or up the Ardennes’ hills. The opportunity to ride alongside and learn from Slipstream Sports’ Classics captain Sep Vanmarcke is an exciting prospect for Owen.
“I tend to be better at Classics-type races,” said Owen. “Getting to learn from Sep is one of the biggest reasons that I’m looking forward to the spring. I’m excited about all my new teammates actually. Uran is a legend. I already know Alex Howes, so it will be cool to race with him.”
His focus on teammates makes sense given his goals for his first WorldTour season. Owen wants to be “the best teammate possible” in 2018.
“That’s the goal every year, of course, but especially during this year, which I consider a learning year,” said Owen. “I want to help my teammates win races. Any personal ambitions will take a back seat as I learn the ropes of being in the WorldTour and help my teammates as much as I possibly can.
“Vaughters seems to have a really good plan to develop me,” Owen added. “I’ve seen this team support the development of young riders over the last couple years, which has been really cool, and it gives me confidence in the team’s ability to help me develop as the top level of the sport.”
As Owen looks forward, he also looks back.
“I can’t thank Axel enough for the last four years and all the opportunities he’s given me,” said Owen. “I feel like I made it because of his support. I also want to thank my coach Joe Holmes, who got me into the road cycling side of things. He’s really helped me grow as a person and an athlete over the last eight years. A lot of getting this contract has to do with both of them.”
Feature image: Logan Owen wins stage three of 2015 Tour of Utah in Bountiful