Garmin cast-offs. How will they fare?
Among the many intriguing questions for the 2015 season, one that Twisted Spoke is following closely is how three Ex-Garmin riders will fare. That would be Steele Von Hoff, Tyler Farrar and Phil Gaimon.
All three were cut lose in the Garmin – Cannondale merger and two, if not all three, have stated their desire to use this season to get back on a WorldTour squad.
Author and climber Gaimon dropped down to the Pro Continental level with Optum Pro Cycling and he’s been vocal about using races like the Tour of California and US Pro Cycling Challenge to earn his way back to the big show.
It was a surprise when the likable and hilarious Gaimon — who had Tom Danielson as a supporter within the team — didn’t stick with JV’s boys. He is itching to prove those folks wrong and may even swear off chocolate chip cookies to accomplish that. “I do believe that I deserve a spot at the WorldTour level, but it takes time to prove it and for people to notice, and I’ll keep doing that,” said Gaimon. We expect him to kick ass in Cali.
Then there’s Battling Buddhist Tyler Farrar who ended up in Africa with MTN-Qhubeka. He’s looking to resurrect his sprint career after a number of years of injury and dwindling results.
Now that his new team has scored an invite to Le Grand Shindig, the Tour de France, he’s no doubt dreaming of a podium placing in one of the bunch sprints. He’s already feeling revitalized by the feel-good energy and mission at MTN-Qhubeka. We suspect the change of scenery will do him good and maybe his fast-twitch fibers will fire with better effect.
We’ll see both Farrar and Gaimon at the Tour of California as their teams just received invites. Farrar had a win in the 2013 edition, stage four from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara, and will be hyper-motivated to add another in front of his old mates. Revenge is sweet even for a chill guy like Tyler.
Finally, there’s Steele Von Hoff, an up-and-coming sprinter who didn’t fit into Garmin’s plans. He has also made no bones about riding his way back on a WorldTour team and he’s already making a big impression. Now on board at NFTO Pro Cycling, he’s come out of the starting gate fast and aggressive, winning the Australian National Criterium Championships.
Yesterday, Von Hoff made an even bigger statement of intent by winning stage 4 in the Tour Down Under. The man is fired up and generating plenty of noise and wattage. When he didn’t stick at Garmin, Von Hoff summed it up this way: “I was just a victim of the game.” Well, he sure isn’t feeling sorry for himself — he put his head down, trained hard and it’s paying off big time.
Keep your eyes on these ex-Garmin guys. We think they’re all going to put on a show this year.