American WorldTour team Cannondale-Garmin named its 27-man roster for the 2015 season today with Dan Martin, Andrew Talansky and Joe Dombrowski, from Team Sky.
“I’m very excited about our 2015 team,” General Manager Jonathan Vaughters said.
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“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. That gives us huge opportunities.”
The opportunity came this August when Vaughters announced his Garmin-Sharp team would join with American bike manufacture Cannondale for the 2015 season. Cannondale left its Italian team that closed its doors at the end of the 2014 season.
Team Cannondale included Peter Sagan, who won the green jersey at the Tour de France for the last three consecutive years. His contract expired and he signed with Tinkoff-Saxo for three years, through 2017.
Cannondale instead brought eight cyclists from its green team – Matej Mohoric, Davide Formolo, Davide Villella, Ted King, Alan Marangoni, Moreno Moser, Kristijan Koren and Alberto Bettiol. Besides the eight, USA’s Dombrowski will join after two years with team Sky, German Ruben Zepuntke from Bissel and Norwegian Kristoffer Skjerping from Joker.
Slovenian Mohoric won the 2013 Under 23 World title in Florence and Italy’s Formolo already in his debut 2014 year placed second to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in the Italian Championships and to Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) in the GP Industria & Artigianato.
The new fire power adds to Vaughters’ current crop that includes Martin, who won the Giro di Lombardia and placed seventh overall in the Vuelta a España, Critérium du Dauphiné winner Talansky and Tour stage winner Ramunas Navardauskas.
Besides youth, the team also has an international flavour with cyclists from 14 different countries. With Cannondale joining, it has the most Italians ever, five, including Francesco Moser’s nephew Moreno Moser.
“Anytime you have the benefit of youth and experience, you are poised for growth and opportunity,” Sports Director Charly Wegelius said. “Every rider on this team is capable of greatness, and together as a team, we have huge potential. Our goal will be to harness that potential, relying on our more experienced guys, to create a very exciting year.”
With David Millar retiring and several of the older riders now gone, the team appears to be entering a new era – and one without any British riders. At the Tour de France this year, Vaughters said that he wanted to build a team around 25-year-old Talansky. The American was the team leader at the Tour after wining the Dauphiné, but had to abandon after crashing.
“I had this belief in Andrew for a long time, that he can become the best GC rider in the world,” Vaughters said at the Tour. “[Re-signing Talansky] is the first building block in the next few years. That ‘s why we have so many new riders, to be part of the foundation going forward to contend for podiums and Grand Tours.”
The team will meet at Cannondale’s Connecticut headquarters and travel to the British Virgin Islands where this week. Like Sky, they will take part in a team building sailing trip. They will travel for four days around the Island of Tortola.
The 2015 season will start in January at the Tour Down Under in Australia.
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