Three crazy men to ride Tour de France.
Let’s get crazy!!!
No, that’s not some dumb-ass drunk’s Friday night battlecry. It’s strategic Plan A for the Cannondale Garmin squad in the Tour de France, baby. No marginal gains here — let the nut-balls go craaaaazy.
Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin and Andrew Tolansky all line up for Le Grand Shindig and team boss Jonathan Vaughters says that “crazy” will be the approach to both the GC and stage wins.
“We can mix it up a little bit and thrown some crazy tactics in there and see what we can get to flush out the other end.” There’s a little extra dose of crazy right there as Vaughters throws a plumber metaphor into the mix. Things are already getting Grand Départ wacky.
A few years back the promotional slogan for the Tour was Tous Fous du Tour — everyone crazy about the Tour. So let’s mark down the nine riders at Cannonade-Garmin as the top crazies at the race.
There will be no power-meter staring allowed. Fresh — or maybe not so fresh — from the Giro d’Italia, Hesjedal will bring the craziness he used the entire back end of that grand tour.
The methodology worked well for the skinny Canadian who started that race in a deep GC sinkhole but still attacked every mountain in week three and finished high on GC.
With any good fortune at all, Hesjedal would have notched two stage wins. His crazy Giro performance made the generals back at C-G headquarters tear up the French race bible and start plotting strange and chaotic things.
Hesjedal’s devil-may-care, screw-sitting-in-the-pack mentality seemed to revitalize him mentally and put some spring in his legs despite doing his crazy attacks each day. Hesjedal will now bring that joie d’smashmouth to France. This should be several thrills rolled into one grenade.
The Act Crazy mentality also suits Dan Martin who has always ridden on emotional feel, not wattage output. As Vaughters said, “We are going to let him be Dan, and be the best Dan he can be.” In other words, Dan will be dangerously psychotic and deranged and unpredictable and you’ll never know when he’s going to rocket off the front. He may also bite people.
Which brings us to Crazy Number 3, Andrew Talansky. Keep in mind this is the guy with the Bulldog nickname. Are bulldogs docile, easy going, kind to strangers in lycra on mountain roads? Not exactly.
Other than his win in the US National Time Trial championship, it’s been a slow year for Talansky and slow makes the Bulldog angry. If you thought he went crazy after Tejay van Garderen beat him by mere seconds in the US Pro Cycling Challenge time trial, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
So get ready for Ryder Loose Cannon Hesjedal, Dan Nut-Ball Martin and Andrew the Insane Bulldog Talansky to spend the three weeks freaking out the Fab Four. And maybe, just maybe, cracking the race wide open with something truly insane.