The team had their best Tour to date in 2011, winning four stages and wearing the yellow jersey for several days. They also placed a rider in the top ten on GC walked away with the team prize.
Peiper, a recruit from the defunct HTC-Highroad squad, will be looking to improve on the team’s successes, bringing with him several years of experience as one of the sport’s most respected directors.
At the Tour presentation on Tuesday the Australian added that the team would look to capitalise on their sprinting prowess in the first week, with both Heinrich Haussler and Tyler Farrar both mentioned as candidates for stage wins. The team have strengthened their sprint train, re-signing Robbie Hunter from RadioShack and picking up Koldo Fernandez from Euskaltel-Euskadi.
However, Peiper correctly added that with no sprint time bonuses on offer, the winner of the prologue in Liege could conceivably wear the yellow jersey for the first 8 stages.
Peiper also commented on the team’s other aspirations, talking about GC contenders Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson. Another rider Peiper brought up was Dan Martin. The Irish climber was in the running for a Tour de France spot this year but missed out in spite of a strong run of form in June.
Martin rode the Vuelta instead, winning a stage and finishing in the top 15 on GC. Now in the top ten in the world, he has become one of Garmin’s integral performers and Peiper added that although the route may not suit his GC aspirations, he could be a contender for both stages wins and the mountains jersey.
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