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The composition of the Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling team has been confirmed with 2015, with a blend of 16 current and 11 incoming professional riders making up what will be a 27-man roster.
The team will continue to feature proven names such as Il Lombardia champion Dan Martin, former Giro d’Italia victor and 2014 Vuelta stage winner Ryder Hesjedal, Tour de France stage winner Ramunas Navardauskas plus 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné winner Andrew Talansky.
The other 12 Garmin-Sharp riders remaining on board are Janier Acevedo, Jack Bauer, Nathan Brown, André Cardoso, Tom Danielson, Nathan Haas, Lasse Hansen, Alex Howes, Ben King, Sebastian Langeveld, Tom Jelte Slagter and Dylan Van Baarle.
New additions include the young riders Joe Dombrowski (Sky), Kristoffer Skjerping (Team Joker) and Ruben Zepuntke (Bissell Development Team), as well as the Cannondale riders Alberto Bettiol, Davide Formolo, Matej Mohoric and Davide Villella.
Other incoming riders are Cannondale’s Ted King, Kristjian Koren, Alan Marangoni and Moreno Moser, making it eight in all from that WorldTour team.
Given that an amalgamation of sorts was announced in August between the Garmin-Sharp holding company Slipstream sports and an element from the current Cannondale team, including its title sponsor plus several riders, the new title of Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling is unsurprising, even if CEO Jonathan Vaughters initially suggested that Garmin might not be one of the title sponsors.
He said that the emphasis on youth has been stepped up for 2015 and that he anticipated very strong performances.
“I’m very excited about our 2015 team,” Vaughters stated. “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. 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.”
Cannondale has been confirmed as both the title sponsor and the technical bicycle sponsor for the team; in addition to that, it has taken an ownership stake in the management organization of Slipstream Sports LLC.
The new lineup will meet for the first time in Wilton, Connecticut. They will then travel to the British Virgin Islands where they sail for four days around the Island of Tortola. According to the squad, the team-building exercise will also see the riders do off-boat exercises such as hiking and swimming.
“Like cycling, sailing is a team sport,” said Vaughters, a fishing enthusiast. “The idea with sailing and living on the boats is to take these guys totally out of their comfort zone and get to know each other and work together under difficult circumstances.
“For many if not most, this will be a totally foreign activity – so they will need to support each other just as they will all season during races.”
Former pro and current director Charly Wegelius said that the blend of riders on the team could prove to be a very promising one. “Anytime you have the benefit of youth and experience, you are poised for growth and opportunity,” he 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.”
The full line-up is as follows (2014 team in brackets).
Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling 2015:
Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Sharp)
Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp)
Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale)
Nathan Brown (Garmin-Sharp)
André Cardoso (Garmin-Sharp)
Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp)
Joe Dombrowski (Sky)
Davide Formolo (Cannondale)
Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp)
Lasse Hansen (Garmin-Sharp)
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp)
Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp)
Ben King (Garmin-Sharp)
Ted King (Cannondale)
Kristjian Koren (Cannondale)
Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp)
Alan Marangoni (Cannondale)
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp)
Matej Mohoric (Cannondale)
Moreno Moser (Cannondale)
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp)
Kristoffer Skjerping (Team Joker)
Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp)
Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp)
Dylan Van Baarle (Garmin-Sharp)
Davide Villella (Cannondale)
Ruben Zepuntke (Bissell Development Team)