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Garmin-Transitions has bolstered its European experience within its backroom staff with former professionals Andrea Peron and Bingen Fernandez joining the team. Peron is acting as an assistant general manager while Fernandez joins as the team's latest directeur sportif.
Fernandez retired from the sport at the end of a 2009 after a 14-year career that began with Euskaltel and ended with French team Cofidis. The Spaniard had the option of riding one more year, but decided to try his hand as a directeur sportif when Garmin offered him the role. During his career Fernandez worked as a domestique for David Millar and Andrei Kivilev but never won a professional race.
"It's a good team. I know so many of the riders and team staff, so I said,'why not?' when they offered me the position," Fernandez told Cyclingnews.
"I was a worker at Cofidis. When I moved there from Euskaltel, I changed my mentality. I stopped going after results and started working for others."
Fernandez is under no illusion as to what the job entails and how hard the transition from rider to director may be. "It's a difficult job and I think it will take some time to adapt. We're always busy and trying to support the riders but it's a challenge I'm really optimistic about. It's different to being a rider. I wouldn't say it's harder. It just means you have to be organised but in a totally different way."
Peron, on the other hand, retired at the end of 2006. He turned professional with Gatorade and rode for Motorola, Francaise de Jeux, ONCE, Fasso Bortolo and CSC in a 15-year career.
Since then, the Italian has worked in cycling-related media roles but his move to Garmin marks his first job in a professional team since retiring.
"It's in my blood to be close to a racing team. I learned a lot as a rider and then in the last three years I worked with race organisers so I feel I have good experience. Jonathan approached me just when the team was expanding. I like the vision he has for cycling," Peron said.
Peron will help the existing backroom staff with logistics and organisation as well as the hospitality side of the team.