Tyler Farrar to don the argyle
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Greenville, South Carolina
Even though the majority of the "big names" of the 2008 Slipstream-Chipotle team have been unearthed one way or another over the past two months, team director Jonathan Vaughters still had to go about the business of officially announcing the roster for his team -- something he did in conjunction with this weekend's USA Cycling Professional road and time trial championships.
Despite the media and public attention around who was heading to the Vaughters outfit, a few names did stay under the radar. One of these is American Tyler Farrar, who has ridden the past two years for the French Cofidis team. Farrar scored his first professional victory in the GP CTT Correios de Portugal in June of this year.
Vaughters also said that one final roster spot will be decided in the coming days. When pressed for more details Vaughters only smiled, but did finally say that this weekend's championship races will be a major deciding factor for the spot.
Another outcome of the announcement was seeing who is and is not on the team from the current roster. Mike Friedman can rest easy after putting in strong performances in the second half of the season, despite being sidelined for six months by a rare blood disorder. However, Friedman's often compatriot Brad Huff will be looking for a different ride for next season.
On the domestic side, Ryder Hesjedal comes to the team after spending fruitful time with the Health Net-Maxxis programme -- continuing the tradition of sending North American riders upwards towards the elite European ranks.
In a typical Vaughters twist, the 2008 Slipstream-Chipotle jersey design will come from the general public in the form of a contest. The top five designs submitted to the team's web site will be voted on by the public and the winner announced at Interbike. One major rule is that argyle MUST be used in the design, along with a few other details like including all of the sponsors.
On the sponsor front, Chipotle has signed on for 2008 and in a bigger way, leading Vaughters to say that the team will continue to eat a lot of burritos next year.