Mark Padun, who enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season, is headed to EF

The winner of back-to-back stages at this year's Critérium du Dauphiné is on the move.

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Mark Padun, who enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 campaign at Bahrain Victorious, is headed to EF Education-Nippo.

The 25-year-old Ukrainian is joining the US-registered team after securing his first and second career WorldTour wins this year on back-to-back stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné. He also rode onto the GC podium at the Vuelta a Burgos, finishing third overall.

In an EF press release, Padun said that he is hoping to focus on Grand Tour racing with his new team.

“I want to become a rider for Grand Tours,” he said. “I believe that I can do it because all of the people who have been working with me have told me that I have talent. I understand that I have to improve to meet this goal so I’m still working on this but I believe it is possible.”

EF team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said that he saw Grand Tour stage wins in Padun’s future, with bigger goals potentially on the horizon.

“I fully expect him to win his first stage of a Grand Tour in the next couple of years. I have no doubt that he’ll do that. I know he can find the right breakaway in a mountain stage and climb away from everyone else and win stages,” Vaughters said. “I know he can do that in Grand Tours. Whether he can expand on that to win mountain jerseys or contend in general classification, that part we have to find out. But for this year, let’s focus on a couple of stage wins. I’m 100% confident he can do it.”

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