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Darren Rafferty (left) and fellow EF Education-EasyPost newbie Archie Ryan (centre) with Irish champion Ben Healy in their race kit for the season ahead

Darren Rafferty (20) and Archie Ryan (22) are stepping up to World Tour this year with EF Education-EasyPost and the US-registered team has released these first images of the two young Irish riders in their new team kit.

Ryan already has some experience of racing at the highest level as he guested for the Jumbo Visma World Tour team while riding for their development squad for the last four years, winning a stage at Tour de Slovaquie (2.1) on debut in 2022.

For Rafferty, this season will be his first experience of the World Tour. He has competed exclusively over the last two seasons for Hagens Berman Axeon; a Continental team regarded as one of the best development squads in the world.

EF Education-EasyPost describes Rafferty as a rider who “will focus on finding his feet in the pro peloton and try to learn all that he can from his teammates and our staff”.

“He doesn’t just fly up mountains. Darren is also a strong time trialist, with two Irish U23 titles to his name. He might become a GC contender or find that he is better suited to the hilly classics. In his first year, he will ride a mix of races and make the most of every opportunity that comes his way.”

The team said of Ryan: “An explosive finisher, Archie loves to put on a show. In his rookie year, he is going to try to learn all that he can, but never count him out if a race finishes uphill. Every time the peloton hits a climb, Archie Ryan wants to be the life of the party.”

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