January 8, 2015 – Last night in New York City, at the IAC building, two of the most successful programs in cycling came together – Cannondale and Slipstream. While the roster has been known for some time, and the marriage speculated since the Tour, it was still an opportunity for this new Cannondale Garmin Pro Cycling Team to officially tell their story.
peloton/image courtesy CSG
Harkening back to his days immediately after retiring from the pro peloton, Jonathan Vaughters, Team Manger and CEO, spoke of working with a junior team of only six riders as the foundation of everything he and his business partner, Doug Ellis have built. It is a foundation still clearly visible when the ages of the current riders are revealed – Cannondale Garmin Pro Cycling is the youngest team on the World Tour.
With much of the squad preparing for the Tour Down Under only six riders joined the launch in New York – previous slipstream riders Andrew Talansky, Ben King and Dan Martin with Cannondale veteran Ted King and the young Italian Davide Formolo representing last year’s Cannondale Pro Cycling Team. Joe Dombrowski, last year with Team Sky, represented the newcomers. Davide Formolo is a name most Americans won’t be familiar with but it’s evidence to his huge talent and what Cannondale Garmin Pro Cycling expects of this 22 year old that he was present at the launch. The hope is he will evolve into a Grand Tour winner in the coming years and it’s a road Vaughters will carefully craft. Expect Formolo to cut his teeth in his first Grand Tour this year, but it is unlikely it will be the Giro. The Vuelta, with less pressure from the tifosi, will likely be his first.
While Cannondale Pro Cycling was dominated solely by Peter Sagan and Slipstream has traditionally looked to multiple riders to win with a very democratic approach to tactics, this new team will meld those approaches into what becomes a more traditional strategy. The team will rally around three riders – Dan Martin, Andrew Talansky, Ryder Hesjedal – for the majority of the season with Talansky looking for redemption at the Tour de France.
Amidst the 120foot long video screen, the pumping music, bikes, models and New York glamour, perhaps the biggest moment at the launch was the final reveal of the kit. Just how would Cannondale’s berserker green mix with Slipstream’s traditional argyle? The result was more black than green or argyle but still represented both graphics with subtlety and style – not something frequently said about berserker green or argyle.
“I’m very excited about our 2015 team. We began as a small group with the mission of developing young riders and we have stayed true to that mission year after year, even as we have grown. 2015 is our youngest group of athletes yet, and it’s also young in that it’s a new team, and we have joined forces with Cannondale,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling. “That gives us huge opportunities. What you can expect to see is an extremely talented group of young riders who will benefit greatly from the leadership and guidance of more experienced guys like Langeveld, Martin, Hesjedal and Talansky. This is a team that will come into racing with a lot of enthusiasm and spirit, and will rely on teamwork, tactics, perseverance and creativity to give great performances.”
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Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling 2015
Tom Jelte Slagter
Dylan Van Baarle