Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters shares the same vision as Doull. “Owain is a very strong rider for the Classics, has a great little sprint on him, and is a good time trialist,” Vaughters says. “More than anything, Owain is a guy who can win one of the smaller semi Classics. I thought it would be good to get a rider like that who would have the kind of freedom to accomplish some goals and will reinforce our Classics squad in general and give us one more option beyond Alberto Bettiol and Michael Valgren. He gives us a broader spectrum of options in the Classics. He hasn’t been given the opportunity to race very many Grand Tours in his career and I think that that’s something he’ll be quite successful at once he’s given the chance. He’ll not only be a successful worker but also, a little bit like Magnus Cort, he can get out of the breakaway and win from the break.”
Doull brings a thoughtful outlook to both the sport and to life. “From cycling, you learn a lot and it helps you grow and shapes you as a person. I lost one of my best friends to suicide during lockdown. I wasn’t sure what to do. I carried on racing. It was difficult but it showed me how much I love the sport. If I’m going to sacrifice time away from friends and family, I want it to mean something and to be able to finish and say I’ve gotten everything out of myself, I couldn’t have done anything more. That perspective is probably the thing I’ve learned the most from cycling.”
Joining EF aligns with his value of fully committing to your beliefs. “This is a team I’ve always been really impressed by. The fact that the team approached me and were interested in me, that shows a lot. Being shown you’re valued by someone is important and it helps you buy into the belief that they believe you can do it as well. That’s an important thing for me.”
When he’s not on the bike, you’ll find Doull indulging in one of his two loves: coffee and collecting vinyl. “There’s a lot of music I really like but I enjoy having it on vinyl and being able to listen to the whole album.”
And don’t be surprised to learn that Doull has applied his deep sense of commitment to coffee. “I have a coffee company which I’m very passionate about, Five Rings Coffee.”
The team’s ethos is one Doull identifies with. “I like that underdog spirit, punching above your weight. As a bike rider, I’ve always thought of myself as not the most talented person but I work hard. That’s the culture of the team: work hard and be clever about it. I hope I’ll fit in well,” he says with a laugh.
We think you’ll fit in just fine, Owain. Welcome to the team!
— Mary Lee Mahony to www.efprocycling.com