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Ted King has said he believes that his move to Cannondale-Garmin will be a big boost to his career, with the American stating that both the line-up and the opportunities should work well for him.
King was one of 27 riders confirmed on Friday as part of the roster for 2015. He is one of several moving across to the current Garmin-Sharp setup from the previous Cannondale team, joining seven other riders plus that title sponsor.
“I’m ecstatic! Let’s say it’s been a long time coming and I’m tremendously proud to be part of the Cannondale-Garmin organization which is brimming with potential,” he told CyclingTips.
After an earlier two year slot with the Cervélo Test team, King has ridden as a domestique on the Liquigas-Cannondale/Cannondale teams since 2011. He spent much of that time working for Peter Sagan, but said that he expects greater personal opportunity with his new squad.
“I’ve had a fairly scripted previous four years, often racing for Peter,” he explained. “I wouldn’t change that opportunity, given what I learned and experience gained, but I’m really looking forward to a more open, aggressive, and tactical style of racing.
“Opportunities for me and the talent-rich team should be more frequent than years past. That really fires me up to get racing.”
While the change in team sees him move on from familiar surroundings, King has the advantage of having those seven team-mates with him. They are Kristjian Koren, Alan Marangoni and Moreno Moser, plus the young riders Alberto Bettiol, Davide Formolo, Matej Mohoric and Davide Villella.
In addition to those familiar faces, King also confirms that he knows many of the team already. “There’s fantastic camaraderie that’s woven throughout the sport and especially among nationalities, regardless of team,” he said. “So I’m friends with pretty much all of the American guys who were already on Garmin.
“I feel a bit like Goldilocks where this Cannondale-Garmin team is ‘just right.’ To race alongside these guys next year simply makes sense.”
King is at the first team camp and said that the vibes are already very positive.
“I think Cannondale-Garmin is creating something new and exciting as opposed to being seen as a merger of two separate teams,” he said. “The young talent and potential coming from both sides, along with a strong approach towards technology from both Cannondale and Garmin, makes 2015 a year that promises tons of exciting racing.
“From what we’ve seen here at the first team gathering, this diverse group knows how to have fun. That’s instrumental in forming the true, united sense of team.”
The team camp was due to begin with a rendezvous in Wilton, Connecticut. After that the riders travelled to the British Virgin Islands, where they will sail for four days around the island of Tortola.
In addition to on-boat activities, the riders will also swim and hike. According to CEO Jonathan Vaughters, sailing will be a foreign activity for most of the riders and they will have to work well together to be able to cope.
King and the other riders will learn to coordinate things amongst themselves and bonds should also be strengthened.
Asked to define his likely role next year, he said that being a mentor will be one of his tasks.
“On paper this is the youngest team in the WorldTour, which is a really exciting title to carry. Seeing the youthful potential coming to the table here at Cannondale-Garmin makes it truly invigorating to be part of this team from a personal standpoint,” he stated.
“I’ll likely have a few hats to wear; having been on the other side of the scenario, I’ll help streamline the integration with the Cannondale guys to a more Anglo organization.
“Again, the youth of this team provides a reciprocal relationship. Namely, the energetic young talent puts our team at the forefront for an exciting 2015 and beyond. Similarly my experience over the years will be looked to from their perspective as they enter this top echelon of the sport.”