Team Garmin-Cervélo celebrated its third ever Tour de France stage win today in Lourdes. A week and a half after its team time trial win and win with Tyler Farrar, World Champion Thor Hushovd took number three in Lourdes.
"A miracle!" general manager, Jonathan Vaughters said jokingly in the holy city. "It's been an excellent Tour for us, you couldn't ask for more."
Garmin won the team time trial on day two in Les Essarts, its first Tour de France stage since it first started participating in 2008. The next day, it helped Tyler Farrar to his first sprint win at the Tour. All along, Hushovd spent seven days in the leader's yellow jersey because of the team's win in Les Essarts.
Hushovd only relinquished the jersey on Sunday's crash-riddled stage to Saint Flour. The loss proved helpful, allowing him to attack and ride free over the Col d'Aubisque today. He trailed by around two minutes at the top, but used his descending skills to catch the two Frenchmen up the road.
"I was behind him, on every curve I was afraid for him," said sports director, Lionel Marie. "He's so fast on the descent."
Hushovd caught David Moncoutié and dropped him; and caught Jérémy Roy and dropped him, too. At 2.5 kilometres to the finish, he rode free. At the line, he pointed to his rainbow jersey - and the team's name Garmin across the stripes - and let out a roar.
"He's a World Champion," added Marie, "I told him at 200 metres, to enjoy the moment."
Vaughters enjoyed it. He raced four editions of the Tour de France before retiring in 2003, the same year he planted the seeds for Garmin's success. The team began as 5280/Subaru and developed, by 2008 making its debut in the Giro and Tour.
The team won a team time trial stage in the Giro in 2008, three Vuelta a España stages in 2009, two at the Giro and Vuelta each last year and now, three at the Tour de France. Indeed, a miracle Tour for Garmin.
Tour de France 2011: Related links
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
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