Vaughters baffled by Hushovd’s performance in Flanders.

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“I can’t say I know why he’s not on top of his game.”

That was Jonathan Vaughters talking outside the Garmin team bus after a disappointing Tour of Flanders. The rider he was talking about was his biggest acquisition in the Cervelo merger, the man in the rainbow jersey, Thor Hushovd.

“I don’t know why he’s not on top of his game” isn’t exactly a vote of confidence. It’s not a lashing Patrick Lefevere critique or Andre Tchmil dumping on Filippo Pozzato but it raises some issues.

Is Vaughters questioning his rider’s preparation, training program or motivation? Is there a breakdown in communication between the two? Is Vaughters disappointed in Hushovd, underwhelmed or miffed?

Perhaps Vaughters is getting a little testy and irritated by a lack of results and feels like he needs to light a fire under some guys. Maybe Vaughters decided that the thoughtful encouragement and witty banter weren’t motivating the boys anymore.

Vaughters. Wassup with Hushovd?

All Twisted Spoke can say is that Vaughters sure sounded let down by his team’s performance with the notable exception of Tyler Farrar. It’s April, classics time, Paris-Roubaix a week away and the boss says “None of our guys have been 100% on top of their game.”

The video interview with Vaughters was pretty revealing. Watch his facial expression, the shrug of the shoulders, the tone in his voice as he says, “When you have two riders and one says he doesn’t have it, what can you do? All you can do is sit in and hope for the best.”

That was World Champion Thor Hushovd he was talking about. Didn’t have it in the Tour of Flanders. Vaughters is not the kind of guy who likes to just sit and hope. We’re not suggesting there’s a sudden riff between the Norwegian and Vaughters but there’s no question that the arygle boss is displeased.

Things better improve at Paris-Roubaix or Vaughters is going to escalate.

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  • Karl

    JV's comments from the car (heard on the live streaming race from Sporza) instructing his riders not to ride, only to sit in and sprint for the end, whether it was 1st or 3rd, or 13th as it turned out, could be indicative of the riders poor form/training or his lack of confidence in them or both. Or it could be standard radio chatter that a regular person never hears.

    • Ricola

      This is true, Vaughters instructed his riders not to ride and let other teams do the work…. This is what he got for that :-)

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    Johnny V is learning you can't buy luck.

    Although, you can squander a great team by not having an outright leader. Two big races for Garmin have proven their three headed leadership fiasco must come to an end.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      The luck hasn't been there, that's for sure. I think the mystery is Hushovd. Tyler is winning some sprints when he has a chance and Haussler needs more time to get back from all his injuries. But Hushovd is such a professional in every sense of the word that I begin to wonder what is going on. Matt

  • http://twitter.com/bdewberry @bdewberry

    I sometimes wonder if Vaughters couldn't have a third career as host of Project Runway. And what's up with his 'burns?

  • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

    The more they lose, the longer they grow. He'll shave them off if Hushovd wins Roubaix. Matt

  • Pingback: Paris-Roubaix preview. Five riders under the gun. | Twisted Spoke

  • s2 wanabe

    jv told the boys not too ride, when i want results at work i press my guys i dont tell them to back off

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      S2, We won't be able to make a damnation/congratulation on Garmin unti after Roubaix. Get ready. Matt.