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Help wanted: Garmin-Cervélo waiting to fill White's spot

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Jonathan Vaughters and Matt White share a word

Jonathan Vaughters and Matt White share a word (Image credit: Emma Hymas)
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Garmin-Transitions directeur sportif Jonathan Vaughters checks his Blackberry before leaving the team hotel.

Garmin-Transitions directeur sportif Jonathan Vaughters checks his Blackberry before leaving the team hotel. (Image credit: James Huang)

It's been six months since Garmin-Cervélo dismissed its directeur sportif Matt White, and the team still has yet to fill his position. Instead, Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters has taken on the role on top of all of his other duties, but said he is happy to be stretched thin rather than hire someone less than perfect for the job.

"Certainly it has made for fewer free hours in my day, but I'd rather be stretched thin than to hire someone who is less than ideal for the position," said Vaughters, who is also president of the teams association AIGCP and on the UCI's advisory board on top of running an organisation which supports three professional teams: Garmin-Cervélo men and women as well as the Chipotle Development Team.

"I am looking for someone capable of doing the job who I can trust 100 per cent and respect 100 per cent. There aren't many people I would consider viable for the job who aren't in a commitment elsewhere, and I'm not going to try to pry people from their existing commitments."

White was sacked in January when it was revealed that he had referred former rider Trent Lowe to the former U.S. Postal physician Luis Garcia del Moral - an action that was against the team's internal policy. He has since taken a position with Cycling Australia.

The Australian's dismissal came in the wake of a pay dispute with Lowe, who left the team for the defunct Pegasus Sports project and was battling with Slipstream over withheld wages.

Lowe attempted to use the connection with the controversial physician against Slipstream in his negotiations, and later threatened to sue Slipstream for lost wages and damage to his reputation.

"The Lowe lawsuit was never even filed," Vaughters revealed. "It's the only thing that was ever going to happen - if you're going to sue someone you better have a strong case," he said, adding that Lowe didn't.

Vaughters did admit that he misses 'Whitey', who was an integral member of the squad since its first year in the big leagues in 2008, but said that the team has functioned well in his absence.

"We've had our best season to date that we've ever had - we've won more in the first half of the season than in any other year: we have 16 victories and we won Paris-Roubaix, I think that speaks for itself."

Vaughters has yet to decide whether he will act as directeur sportif during the Tour de France, but said that decision will be made soon. "We'll make the best decision based on where I will be most useful for the team."

Will he be most useful in France, interviewing candidates for the directeur sportif position for 2012? "I have a few people in mind, some that aren't currently acting as a D.S., but we'll wait until the end of the season - we're just not going to mess with it right now."