Crumbs from the table?

Thursday, 2 September 2010


French wine… or Belgian beer for Jonathan Vaughters?

Ask most people in the sport and they can only see Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck dominate the Tour de France for the next few years. Maybe others will share the podium with them but as things stand, the yellow jersey looks locked down.

Now such assumptions can be turned upside down quite quickly. But let’s run with this idea for now. If you had to build a cycling team for 2011 and beyond, and you knew you couldn’t get Contador or Schleck Jnr on your team, would you even bother thinking about the overall at the Tour de France?

I’m asking this as looking at the Garmin-Cervélo project for next year, one thing is clear: this is a squad for the classics. Haussler, Hushovd, Farrar, Hesjedal, Martin, Hammond and more, they’ve got options all over the place in March and April, from Het Nieuwsblad to the Mur de Huy. But what about July?

The Tour de France is more than the biggest race on the calendar, for most people in the world it is the only bike race in the world. Now it’s quite possible that Garmin-Cervélo take some stage wins in July, especially with Farrar and a pinch of luck, but is this a team being formed against the backdrop of a GC lockdown?

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{ 4 comments }

Shane September 2, 2010 at 10:54 am

Dan Martin has plenty of ability and, in another year or two, might well be consistent enough to finish top 10 in a Grand Tour. From there, he can aim higher. He's just turned 24, so don't rule him out! They've also plenty of strong young riders.

Also, Hesjedal should be better again next year; I don't see him winning the Tour, but he can certainly keep building towards podium. I wouldn't say GC has been abandoned, but do think that the team will aim for stages and green jersey too. Shorter-term plan, perhaps..

Biking Badger September 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

You talk about the yellow jersey but don't forget the green. With Cav showing chinks in the armor we may just see some more attacking the sprints.

TheInnerRing September 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

Shane and Biking Badger – I was being a bit provocative with the above piece but I do wonder how much the sponsor will be satisfied with this.

J-R Bernardeau and other DS have said it's simply not worth trying for the sprints because of Cav. That said, Haussler and Hushovd can win and if he keeps trying, as shown in the Vuelta, Farrar will eventually win.

And yes, there are GC options. For me the team looks exciting.

Jules September 7, 2010 at 3:03 am

I think you're overestimating how much positive effect Hushovd will have within the team. Hushovd and Farrar exist in direct conflict with each other's goals and you can just forget about Hushovd taking over Julian Dean's role. Sure, he can ride the April races but what about the rest of the year? Will Vaughters tolerate his own version of Devolder?

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