Both Ryder Hesjedal and Tom Danielson crashed out leaving the team with no GC prospect for the first time since their Tour debut in 2008, while Tyler Farrar also crashed and sustained injures to rule him out of the sprints.
It forced the team to change strategy and on the stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine both David Millar and David Zabriskie escaped in the main break of the day. The team missed out on the stage win but repeated attacks on consecutive days finally paid off when Millar won in Annonay Davézieux.
Before the start of stage 15 in Samatan team boss Jonathan Vaughters praised his riders' spirits and hinted that there was more to come from his team. And sure enough Christian Vande Velde joined the stage break, taking second behind Pierrick Fédrigo.
Away from racing, Garmin have also had to deal with questions relating to USADA's investigation into Lance Armstrong and several other members of the US Postal team. Unfounded allegations were printed in the opening week stating that members of the team had testified in order to secure immunity but had received sanctions.
Vaughters, himself named as one of those who had testified, said that the team had held to their anti-doping philosophy throughout the experience, and that while his riders would cooperate with any investigation, they would also uphold their public stance on anti-doping.
"We put ourselves out on a limb and we have to live and die by that. We set a higher standard," Vaughters said.
In this exclusive video interview Vaughters talks to Cyclingnews, first about his team's performance in this year's Tour and then how he and his team has upheld an anti-doping stance within the parameters of the current sport.
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