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Tuft signs two-year Garmin-Chipotle contract

Svein Tuft's silver medal in the time trial world championships was a brilliant performance for the Canadian, but rather than earn him a two-year contract with the Garmin-Chipotle team, it merely confirmed the talent which manager Jonathan Vaughters spotted years ago.

Tuft's 2008 performances – a national time trial championship, the overall at Tour de Beauce, seventh in the Olympics and third overall in the Tour of Missouri – showed he is ready to take the next step in his career: a base in Europe and a chance to learn the trade from the likes of David Millar, Christian Vande Velde and Zabriskie on the Garmin-Chipotle team.

It could be that his domestic programme will change and he will race the Tour de France in 2009 under the team's manager Jonathan Vaughters, who spotted his talent well before his break-out performance in Varese.

"We signed Tuft. Before the Worlds, mind you," said Vaughters to Cyclingnews. "I've wanted Svein for two years now. He's an honourable guy. I'm super-excited to have him."

Vaughters knew the 31-year-old Tuft from their time together on the domestic USA Prime Alliance squad. "He has been around for a while but has never had a chance in the big league, so we want to give him a chance," said Vaughters about the decision to sign Tuft.

Tuft rode for the Canadian Symmetrics team for four years before it dissolved after losing the sponsor, and has put in strong performances in the Americas. "I don't have a lot of exposure over here in Europe," said Tuft. "This is the first year where I have been able to of focus on the Olympics and not hit the end of the season tired. I was able to keep the good form rolling and come here, fresh and motivated."

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