Ellis on hand to celebrate with team
Garmin-Cervelo’s stage win and yellow jersey at the Tour de France is "indicative of what the team and Slipstream have stood for from the beginning", according to team manager Jonathan Vaughters. Garmin-Cervelo won the stage 2 team time trial, putting world champion Thor Hushovd in the yellow jersey by one second ahead of GC contender Cadel Evans (BMC).
The team rode selflessly throughout the stage with riders like Tyler Farrar and Dave Zabriskie sacrificing themselves.
It was a tense finish though. Once Garmin had posted the best time of the day, the team retreated to the team bus where they watched events unfold. One by one, rival teams crossed the line and the stage and jersey looked secured until BMC reached the intermediate time check at two seconds down.
However Evans’ team wilted in the wind by a further two seconds, giving Garmin the stage and Hushovd a one-second advantage in the GC. Garmin-Cervelo's David Millar is in second, with the same time as Hushovd.
Ellis proud of team effort
Doug Ellis, Chairman on Slipstream Sports, was at the stage and joined the team in celebrating its first ever Tour de France stage victory and first yellow jersey. The American founded Slipstream sports with Vaughters in 2006 and has funded and developed the team towards the top echelons of the sport.
“We always wanted to build a team that was competitive every day of racing, and I think we accomplished that several years ago, but this win in the Tour always eluded us. So on that score it’s a fantastic day to get that behind us and to have the yellow jersey it’s obviously great exposure to us and it’s a shot in the arm for our supporters and our sponsors who are always very supportive of our programme but they want the win and the exposure and they want to proud of the programme so a day like today goes a long way on that front,” he told Cyclingnews just as Thor Hushovd pulled on the yellow jersey.
“We’ve struggled for seven years in a very tough business environment and we’ve overcome some of the challenges within cycling itself and it’s been one step forward and two back sometimes and so a day like day makes us feel great and like we’re on the right track.”
Slipstream bases much of its attitude and ethos around a strong anti-doping stance and have a zero policy on needles.
“Anti doping has become a have to have now. There was a time when we really led with that story because it was something that was really differentiating us from other programmes. People can look at the team and really believe that when we win we really were the strongest. So many fans have become cynical, and I don’t blame them but today is a day that people can get a lot of faith from the beautiful sport that we have.”
“I really love the sport. I think it’s beautiful to watch, and the suffering and emotion are incredible so the goal has always been to build a team that was self-respecting on the business front. No one has illusions that we’re going to make a lot of money doing this, but we want to run a break even programme and have the kind of success that we’ve had, that would be incredible.”
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