Good story in Velonews on the Garmin-Sharp roster overhaul.
According to the argyle master Jonathan Vaughters, the team will change their focus to bring more support for their team captains in the week-long and grand tours.
That switch in orientation would also seem to indicate that Tyler Farrar won’t be resigned as Garmin puts their resources towards the climbers, not a sprinter who has struggled with injuries and disappointing results the last two seasons.
In the past, Garmin has gone into grand tours with the classic “lots of cards to play” strategy based on the fact that they had three strong riders but not one A-list killer rider. With the ascendancy of Dan Martin, Andrew Talansky and Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin is going “one card.”
Those three captains will have plenty of new guns to help them tackle their objectives. Coming over to the Boulder-based squad are Nathan Brown (Bontrager), Phil Gaimon (Bissell), Ben King (RadioShack-Leopard), Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge), Dylan Van Baarle (Rabobank Continental), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Belkin), Lasse Norman Hanson (Blue Water Cycling), and Andre Fernando Cardoso (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
Then there’s the intriguing rumor that Colombian climber Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) will also joining the squad. Acevedo was the revelation of the year on the domestic US race scene with breakthrough stage wins in the Tour of California and Colorado’s US Pro Cycling Challenge. He looks set to to become Quintana Lite for Garmin-Sharp and could eventually prove a tremendous asset in the high mountains of France.
What was perhaps most interesting in all this Garmin retooling was the hiring of Sebastian Langeveld. He was brought in for the classics but also to keep guys like Dan Martin from crashing. Langeveld is big enough to protect and position the skinny climbers on those chaotic Giro and Tour de France days when you can lose your shot at a GC victory.
After crashing out of the Giro, then crashing hard in the Tour, Hesjedal admitted he was getting sick of hitting the tarmac. He’ll be happy to see the arrival of Langeveld. Team boss Vaughters is well-versed in race strategy: you can’t win a grand tour from a hospital bed.
The burning issue for Twisted Spoke in this major roster overhaul is what about the comedy? Vaughters likes his team to have a quirky, comedic edge but time trial ace and beat poet Dave Zabriskie’s contract is up and has yet to be resigned? Tommy Danielson is a funny guy but can he realistically be expected to carry the load by himself?
Will Garmin lose their laugh track or will newly signed funny man Phil Gaimon be able to step up and deliver the punch lines? Gaimon wrote some humorous blog posts while riding for Bissell but that was strictly pro-conti humor. Zabriskie specializes in cryptic observational comedy and that is not easy to replace.
Who will be Garmin’s comedy captain for next season?