The Cannondale-Garmin team has announced its line-up for the 2015 Tour de France, where leadership duties will be shared between the triumvirate of Andrew Talansky, Dan Martin, and Ryder Hesjedal. The selection gives the American team a variety of cards to play and CEO Jonathan Vaughters has promised "a lot of creativity" throughout the course of the race.
Cannondale-Garmin also revealed a new jersey for the Tour de France, with green and argyle dominating what it called a limited-edition design.
Talansky, who is the US national time trial champion, was 10th overall at the Tour in 2013 and has made no secret about his desire to better that result this year after quitting the 2014 Tour following a high-speed crash on stage 11. Martin has enjoyed significant success in hilly one-day Classics, with wins at IL Lombardia and Liège-Bastogne-Liège to his name, and bolstered his three-week stage racing credentials with seventh overall at the Vuelta a España last year. Hesjedal is a former Grand Tour champion, winning the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and doggedly racing his way to a top-five in this year’s race.
"We are going into the Tour de France with three leaders, all who have very different riding styles, and those styles compliment each other,” said the team’s directeur sportif, Charly Wegelius. “Andrew, Dan and Ryder have shown they work well together, and that will translate to the roads of the Tour."
Martin looks set to thrive in the opening eight days of the race, with crosswinds, cobbles, and punchy finishes all combining to promise a chaotic week that will suit the Irishman's natural racer's instincts. Hesjedal went deep at the Giro d'Italia, attacking repeatedly in the mountains, and is likely to do the same in the mountainous latter portion of the Tour. Talansky will hope to be consistent throughout.
“We have a very talented group of riders and by bringing three top guys: Andrew, Dan and Ryder, we’re going to make things very interesting. These three, and the team as whole, will work seamlessly and selflessly together to shake things up and create opportunities,” said Vaughters. “You’ll see a lot of creativity from us at this Tour.”
The team's Tour squad also includes Jack Bauer, Kristijan Koren, Sebastian Langeveld, and Ramunas Navardauskas, with Langeveld acting as captain on the road. The quartet have ridden a collective 11 Tours, and when combined with Hesjedal's six and Talansky and Martin's two each, there is plenty of experience on the team. The nine-man roster is rounded out by two Tour debutants in Dylan van Baarle and Nathan Haas.
"Ramunas showed his strength with a stage win last year, and Jack Bauer will be looking for redemption after coming so close to a win in 2014,” said Wegelius "Sebastian is our road captain and his leadership and experience will be invaluable in the wind in Holland, over the cobbles and thought the entire race.
“Kristijan is skilled at moving around the peloton and helping riders maintain and keep their position. Dylan and Nathan will be riding their first Tour de France and will support and learn from the more senior riders on the team. Each rider is capable of stage wins, and working together we expect them to make the race exciting."
Cannondale-Garmin for the Tour de France: Andrew Talanksy, Dan Martin, Ryder Hesjedal, Jack Bauer, Kristijan Koren, Sebastian Langeveld, Ramunas Navardauskas, Dylan van Baarle, and Nathan Haas.
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