This year the brilliant and sartorial Jonathan Vaughters set the bar high for his team. Mission statement: be the number one ranked ProTour squad in the world.
He didn’t want to win best dressed or the team with the funniest tweets or biggest thighs or best tan lines or most doping cases or flat tires or coolest team bus. He wanted the big enchilada: top squad, most points, numero uno.
Didn’t get it.
In the final tally, it was Omega-Pharma-Lotto and Philippe Gilbert’s 18 victories that snatched the top honor. They just edged out Team Sky by 40 points while the Argyle Army finished in sixth place.
It could have been seventh until the last minute push: Dan Matin’s second in the Giro di Lombardia and David Millar’s second place in Beijing carried the boys past Lampre-ISD.
Now, given that UCI president Patrick McQuaid can’t stand Vaughters, it would not be surprising if McQuaid did the point totals himself and reduced Garmin’s total here and there. Just this month he was threatening sponsors over participation in the Tour of Beijing. If we were the Garmin boss, we’d ask for a recount by a third party.
You can just picture the vindictive and petty McQuaid going down his naughty list and doing the subtraction. 15 points off for disagreement on radio ban, 17 points off for breakaway league talk, 20 points for plan to boycott Tour of Beijing.
In any case, Leopard Trek, HTC-Highroad and BMC Racing Team rounded out the top five. Sad to say, Leopard has merged out of existence and HTC-Highroad is now gone for good. With the signing of Thor Hushovd and Gilbert, BMC moves to the pole position for next year.
JV, you were off by five on the team rankings. But hey, according the Twisted Spoke, you won Best Tweets by a wide margin.