Talyor Phinney lost the leader’s jersey in yesterday’s Team Time Trial. But now Garmin – Barracuda’s Ramunas Navardauskas is wearing Pink after the team blazed its way through the course in Vernonia. While I loved seeing an American in the Magila Rosa I think its a better to have a rider from a team such as Garmin – Barracuda.
So why is it good to have a Garmin rider wearing the Malgila Rosa? The short answer is that its confirmation of a clean sport. Or at the very least it means that clean riders can do well in Grand Tour. Jonathan Vaughter’s built this team from the Continental level to the World Tour level by (among other things) picking the right riders and espousing the right values.
People scoffed when the team was first formed, but after a magical season last year, and some strong showings this year they are proving that what they hope to accomplish is possible.
I broke up with cycling after Floyd was busted. At the time rider after rider was getting busted all while screaming their innocence in the press. “I’m clean I’m clean! I just had a shot Burbon!” Or my personal favorite “I had an unborn twin absorbed into my body while in the womb!”. It was all bullshit and I was over it. When I came back it wasn’t because of the excitement of PRO racing, but every time I watched I was weary of what I was seeing. I figured it was just a matter of time before another crop of riders got busted. I’m not talking about one or two — there will always be people who try to cheat the system — but whole bunches of riders. Then I found out about what Garmin was all about.
Blood Sweat and Gears was the story of building that team and getting into the Tour de France. It made me a believer again.
When a rider on this team reaches the podium you know they got there on bread and water alone. That knowledge is good for the future of this sport.