Peiper joins Garmin

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Allan PeiperAussie director sportif Allan Peiper will be joining Garmin for the 2012 season. It think this is a wise signing, the team was struggling for managers earlier this year after Matt White got booted out. Indeed the squad too Peter Van Petergem away from his new career as an insurance salesman to get behind the wheel for a few weeks. Whether it was caused or just correlated to Van Petergem’s help, Johan Van Summeren took Paris-Roubaix.

Peiper is from the old school, the tough school. He quit an abusive home for Belgium and the weirdness of the Planckaert household. His book, a Peiper’s Tale recounts a lot of this. When his racing career came to an end he opened a burger bar, operating out of a van and driving to kermesses to supply spectators with hot food. It seemed an abrupt change.

Come 2006 and Cadel Evans joined the Davitamon team and fellow Aussie Allan Peiper was brought into the team and the manager hasn’t looked back. Peiper’s a tough guy today, a sense of humour but demanding.

It’s only an anecdote but watching the Beyond the Peloton video of the pre-race briefing for Milan-Sanremo (4m54s) I can’t help but get the feeling Jonathan Vaughters wasn’t exactly psyching the troops up for the battle. For sure, a bike race is a careful war of attrition but Peiper can bring an edge here too. That said, HTC-Highroad has been, to exaggerate, military operation where everyone knows their place whilst Garmin, again to exaggerate, has tended to allow more individual characters.

With the Tour de France still fresh in our minds, it’s important to remember several teams want to improve for the classics season. Leopard-Trek need some help for Fabian Cancellara and Quickstep also need people to accompany Tom Boonen. But having someone behind the steering wheel helps. We’ll see what other teams do, especially once the future of Philippe Gilbert and Mark Cavendish is certain.

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{ 6 comments }

grumpyoldman August 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

“Indeed the squad too Peter Van Petergem away from his new career…”

Indeed the squad took Peter Van Petergem away from his new career…

Sorry to be pernickity, but it had me foxed for a moment or two.

Velonista August 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

This could be a great signing. Before the Tour, Garmin Cervelo’s season has been a disappointment; great performance at Paris-Roubaix, but (with all due respect) Johan Van Summeren was about option 7. The number of times they misfired was shocking—at the Classics and through the smaller races, too. There has been some interesting speculation about Garmin-Cervelo having an identity that racing fans can relate to and HTC didn’t. But there was something very well-honed about the Stapleton outfit, and Peiper and Aldag had a lot to do with that. It will be interesting to see how Peiper influences the GarVelo culture.

ave August 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

@Velonista: After two top10 finishes, option 7 seems a ‘bit’ exaggerated

GluteCramp August 14, 2011 at 2:07 am

I think one of the biggest changes in the BTP videos from CTT to Garm-Velo was the substitution of van Poppel for Vaughters – certainly a noticeable change in atmosphere on the team bus, and it seemed a different approach to the racing. I’m not sure if it really had an affect on how the team performed (I think the nature of the departure of Hushovd says as much as anything about team harmony), putting a dedicated DS into that role will only help them out. Vaughters himself said shortly after losing Matt White that he wanted somebody to fill that role and it looks like he’s managed to find the right guy. Hopefully it works out for them.

bikebb August 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

Is this a pre-curser to Manx Man join Garmin-Cervelo? I can see it now…Ryder for some mountain stage win and Cav for the rest of the show! What’s the hold up with Cavendish announcing which team he is joining? I can see the responsibility to the sponsor thing but since the team is devolving why not announce it now – or is it contrived hype?

Abdu Whereareyou August 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Tough guy doesn’t quite say enough about him. “Peiper’s tale” is not exactly an easy read at times, I had huge respect for him after reading it.

Sadly not as widely or well known to his own Australian cycling fans as he should be, you feel like he’s dragged himself up time and again in spite of everything.

He deserves the breaks, and I’d rate him as a leader of teams ahead of 100 JV’s anyday. He’s been honest about doping too, as for Vaughters well… (PS. Far be it for me to suggest, but is any cycling journo ever going to check up on Vaughter’s past as one of Lance’s US Postal loyal lieutenants?)

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