One year after he had to leave the team due to a lack of available space, Phil Gaimon has rejoined the Cannondale-Garmin squad and will compete again with the Argyle team.
The American rider was squeezed out after the merger between Cannondale-Garmin and Cannondale. At the time team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said that he would have liked to keep him on board but was unable to do so.
Gaimon had made an immediate impression with the team when he first joined it in 2014, winning his very first race in its colours. In taking the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis, he grabbed the race leader’s jersey. He eventually finished second overall in the event.
“I had a great experience and the opportunity of a lifetime when I raced for the team back in 2014,” said Gaimon, who is 29 years of age. He competed this year with the Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies team and won the Redlands Classic.
“I learned a lot about how to race in Europe, how to navigate the pack, control breakaways and better help leaders. I’m thrilled to come back in 2016 with another year of racing experience under my belt and apply everything I have learned along the way. It will be good to be back in argyle.”
Vaughters said the team was glad to be able to give him another contract.
“Phil is an intelligent rider and a good person. Both are attributes needed in any team, and we are very happy to have him back in our ranks.”
Also inking a deal to race with the team is 26 year old Ben King. He has raced with the team since 2014, and this season took stage one of the Criterium International plus the silver medal in the US national time trial championships.
“I’m really excited and proud to keep living the dream with the team in 2016,” said King. “When you battle through the most difficult days, celebrate victories, and support each other as teammates, you become really good friends. That’s the most rewarding part of the sport for me.
“Plus, the entire staff has been so supportive and given me every opportunity to get the best out of myself. I’ve improved every year and feel like I still have a lot of potential to realize. I hope to have a consistent 2016 and build on another Grand Tour and year of experience.”
Vaughters describes King as a very talented rider and said that he is still developing his skills.
“In 2015 he showed glimpses of what he will be capable of in the coming years, and a highlight was his performance at World Championships, which was absolutely amazing to watch.”
“Plus, he loves bass fishing,” he added, “which is something more professional riders should love.”