Jonathan Vaughters picked Johan Van Summeren’s win in Paris-Roubaix as his proudest moment as a team boss and praised his riders for their team effort at the finish.
Garmin-Cervelo needed a result in the final and most prestigious cobbled classic after underperforming in the Tour of Flanders and Milan San Remo. All eyes had been on World Champion Thor Hushovd who had finished second last year and American Tyler Farrar but it was Van Summeren who clinched a surprise win after he attacked the remnants of the day’s early break with 15 kilometres remaining.
“We’ve been executing right for six weeks now but we’ve not had perfect luck until now,” Vaughters said after the race.
“Everything went according to what these guys are capable of. In cycling the way it is it’s a team sport and a natural sport and the way it’s competed now you have to wait for the human body to be ready and we did it correct today, we did everything right and it worked."
“It’s a team sport and not an individual sport and today we showed that. We weren’t the strongest person, we didn’t have Cancellara, we were the strongest team and that is what this is about.”
As Van Summeren made his way to the winner’s press conference Vaughters spoke again. The American has built a team solidly from the ground, starting with a U23 team in 2004, before bringing Garmin through to the Tour de France in 2008 and ProTour in 2009.
“It’s the proudest moment I’ve had as a team boss. More than any anything I’ve said for the last six months that this is a team sport and we are a team and that it’s the only way we’ll win. I said it over and over again and I feel like nobody has been listening to me."
“Today I feel like it’s justice that the guy who spends 99 per cent of his career dragging his ass on the front for Farrar and Hushovd and all our climbers, he’s the guy who won today. That’s Garmin-Cervelo. That’s Slipstream. That’s what we wanted to create.”
With the cobbled season over attention switches to the Ardennes with Fleche Wallone, Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege all on the horizon. With that a new set of riders including Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal will be drafted in and according to Vaughters today’s win give the team a boost for the weeks ahead.
“I said we wanted to win one of the monuments this year and I know everyone else said we could win two or four or 19 but I wanted to win one. Now there are other races for other riders and other components of the team and we move forward.”