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?