Jonathan Vaughters. The power of respect.

Dekker idol.

Mr. Dekker, we’ll get to you in a minute.

Garmin-Cervelo’s head honcho Jonathan Vaughters has earned tremendous respect within the world of pro cycling.

He’s an acknowledged leader in the fight against doping. His team is perhaps the cleanest (and most transparent) in cycling and an inspiration to young riders coming up.

He’s the head of the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) and leads the organization’s battle to overturn the radio ban.

He takes a visionary role in cycling, trying to move the sport beyond its often parochial and tradition- bound attitudes He has already put forth a number of proposals to increase the popularity and marketability of the sport to a wider audience.

He is perhaps one of the few men UCI president Patrick McQuaid is smart enough to fear.

He dresses with sartorial splendor, he writes the funniest tweets in cycling and does wine tastings with the Giro’s Angelo Zomegnan. He’s a renaissance director sportif.

For those who remember his columns from a number of years ago in either Cyclesport or ProCycling, he’s also a fine writer.

He lives in cooler than hip Boulder, Colorado with his hot girlfriend.

A long set up to say that within cycling, he’s one of the few men who commands respect from riders, team managers, sponsors and the sport’s governing body.

What caught Twisted Spoke’s eye yesterday was yet another indicator of his powerful influence on the sport. Young Dutchman Thomas Dekker, coming back from a two year doping suspension, said he would do anything possible to ride for Vaughters.

Not at Garmin-Cervelo. No, Dekker said he’d turn himself inside out, take any test, offer any proof, sign any code of conduct, cooperate with every doping agency, jump thru any hoop simply to ride with Vaughters’ development team.

His exact words: “I will earn it, Slowly and patiently. And I will show that I can be a positive force in cycling. To be in contact with Vaughters is an honor on its own, making a comeback at his team is a dream.”

Dekker considers it an honor to simply talk to the man. Other than the much admired and now departed Aldo Sassi, who else has that kind of respect?

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  • Jayne

    To bad he's the exception and not the rule! The GF is entirely lucky! He too could do "the most interesting man in the world" commercial.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I have a secret bromance with JV. I simply can't help myself and my wife understands. Matt

  • Mick

    I also suspect Dekker is (now) savvy enough to understand his transgressions could effectively be expunged by aligning himself with JV…a much smoother career proposition than signing with another team (ugh! say…Katusha) and forever to ride under a cloud. If it works out, the relationship could be mutually beneficial to both parties' reputation … Dekker just needs to now retrace David Millar's footsteps with JV's guidance.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Exactly, Mick, exactly. I give Dekker a lot of credit for making the smart long term decision here. He's making the right choice not the easy money choice. Matt

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    Dekker would do his career much better if he signed for Miche, the new Rock Racing haven for ex-dopers. Under JV he'll be a domestique for life. Not saying its right but what will make him the most money in the long term. I also think Dekker thinks aligning with Johnny V is the only way he'll clear his doping past, not necessarily his doping.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      JV is on record saying he believes Dekker is talented enought to win clean. He's looked at his previous tests and done his due diligence. I see this as a smart move for Dekker and a smart gamble by JV and Garmin-Cervelo. Besides, looks like Hushovd is leaving so why not plug in Dekker after a year getting up to speed. Matt

      • IdeaStormer Jorge

        If we flash back to pre testing non-negative Dekker he was already angry at Rabobank for lack of support and not being the designated leader… you say plug him in to replace Hushovd, quite Ironic!

      • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

        That was the spoiled, self centered Dekker, before the long, hard, painful fall. Dekker, unlike so many who are unrepentant when they return, has said all the right things. He's been honest and humble. I have to respect that so I think he's learned some lessons. Matt

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    I get it like Ricco.