Wegelius on Garmin’s Tour: ’10 out of 10 for effort’

Sport director Charly Wegelius says the team left Paris satisfied with its performance at the 100th Tour de France

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Garmin-Sharp won a stage and pushed a rider into the top-10, a solid performance that bodes well for the future of the American franchise.

Daniel Martin delivered an impressive stage win across the Pyrénées while Andrew Talansky punched his way into the top-10 in an impressive Tour debut.

Sport director Charly Wegelius said the team left Paris satisfied with its overall Tour performance.

“I think I would give us an 8 out of 10, and a 10 out of 10 on effort,” Wegelius told VeloNews. “I think we rode the way we wanted to ride. We got a very good result when we really needed it. We always managed to place the right riders we wanted to in the breaks. That’s all you can ask from yourself as a team.”

Garmin didn’t bring a serious GC candidate to challenge Sky and eventual winner Chris Froome.

Instead, it opted for a multi-pronged attack that also included veterans Tom Danielson, Ryder Hesjedal, and Christian Vande Velde.

Vande Velde crashed out of his final Tour while Hesjedal also crashed, cracking a rib, but fought through to attack on several occasions in the final half of the race. Danielson rode into the winning breakaway in the “queen stage” ending with the double passage up l’Alpe d’Huez.

“The legs are what they are, and no one has any problems with that. The way the rest of the race goes is entirely out of our control,” Wegelius said. “We did what we did what we wanted to do, and the way we wanted to do it, so we can be very pleased with that.”

Wegelius said the squad was satisfied with its aggressive racing style that produced Martin’s big victory in stage 9 to Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

Martin was hanging in the top-10 until he faded in the Alps, but Garmin brass was impressed with how the Irishman handled the Tour.

“His health let him down a little bit in the end, but that’s part of the game. He got a small chill coming off the Ventoux, and that was that,” Wegelius continued. “It’s another step on the way for him toward becoming a confident, mature top rider. He’s been one of the best riders of the peloton this year, and he completely deserves that. He’s going to do San Sebastian, then talk about the end of season, with either the Vuelta a España or the Canadian one-days before the worlds.”

Even more important for the team’s mid-range goals was the continued progress of third-year pro Talansky. Despite having a few struggles, Talansky refused to throw in the towel, and clawed his way into the top-10 with a strong final week.

“He’s showing a lot of good things that are promising for the future. His consistency. That’s a box you have to tick if you want to be a stage racer,” Wegelius continued. “If we take away the bad day he had, the day when Dan won, he’d be even better. He’s learning about the Tour, and he’s learning that the Tour is different than other races. Often you hear people say you ride a race for experience, but you get experience by riding at the front of the race, not at the back. It’s all very positive for his future.”

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