“I am sending a list of 10. Not nine, but 10, [Thursday], internally for the riders. But I don’t think we’re going to formally announce until Wednesday morning next week,” said Jonathan Vaughters, the sartorial force behind the Garmin-Sharp squad.
Yes, the man is always looking for an edge and being an intellectual and a business MBA candidate he’s working all the angles. Just look at his amazingly advanced selection process for Le Tour and you have an insight into the IQ.
What if he can get a 10th rider into Le Grand Shindig for his team? Well, then Team Sky and the emaciated one, Chris Froome, may have more to worry about than Alberto Contador suddenly finding his 2010 climbing legs.
He’s a shrewd one, that Vaughters.
Teams must provide Tour organizers with rosters 72 hours before the start of the race. That works out to Wednesday morning of next week.
But hey, everybody knows the Tour de France is chaos, insanity and really who has the time to count?
Vaughters is hoping that the French will be preoccupied drug testing the Spanish teams and keeping Bradley Wiggins out of France and away from attacking Chris Froome with a crowbar and making sure there are no tacks on the mountain roads.
The Tour is a monumental undertaking and who has time to count? The team shows up, they got a bunch of guys in the bus, away we go.
It’s just smart thinking because Vaughters knows he doesn’t have an outright superstar leader like Froome or Contador. Nope, he’s got three fairly strong guys in Hesjedal, Dan Martin and the pitbull Andrew Talansky.
Doing the endurance math, he decided that ten riders makes a more powerful squad than nine. Nine is for losers, people who just don’t know how to bend the rules and game the system.
This is the 100th birthday of the Tour de France and it’s going to be an hors categorie celebration from Corsica through the Pyrenees and Alps to Paris. So what if the guest list has one extra rider? Once he’s in, how embarrassing would it be to throw him out? aJust bad form at a birthday party and the French do love protocol.
That Vaughters is so sly. If the French even begin to catch one, to try and count the Garmin-Sharp jerseys at the start in Corsica, he’ll simply distract them — look at my new shoes, check out my stylish jacket, have you not seen my retro cravat?
That’s how the Argyle genius rolls. Always one step and one rider ahead.