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Tour de France

Some new faces at the Tour for Garmin-Slipstream

Garmin-Slipstream brings back some familiar faces with a few new ones for the 2009 Tour de France. The squad released its nine names for next months’ Tour, with Christian Vande Velde as the team captain and Tour debutante Tyler Farrar the man for the sprints. Returning with Vande Velde from last year’s Tour team are David Millar, Ryder Hesjedal, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie and Julian Dean. New riders for the team’s Tour hopes this year include Farrar, Irish national champion Dan Martin and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins.

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By Andrew Hood

Garmin-Slipstream brings back some familiar faces with a few new ones for the 2009 Tour de France.

The squad released its nine names for next months’ Tour, with Christian Vande Velde as the team captain and Tour debutante Tyler Farrar the man for the sprints.

Returning with Vande Velde from last year’s Tour team are David Millar, Ryder Hesjedal, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie and Julian Dean.

New riders for the team’s Tour hopes this year include Farrar, Irish national champion Dan Martin and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins.

“We are bringing a diverse and versatile squad to the 2009 Tour de France,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and sport director. “We had an incredible first Tour as a team last year and this year we hope for GC contention, possible stage wins and even the yellow jersey at some point.”

The squad features four Americans, including Vande Velde, who will be hoping to better his fourth in last year’s Tour despite a crash in last month’s Giro d’Italia that left him with five broken vertebrae and other fractures.

The team is hoping to push Vande Velde as far as possible in the GC ranking as well as vie for stage victories in breakaways and in the sprints with Farrar. The team will have heavy artillery for the time trial stages and will be one of the favorites for the win in the prestigious team time trial.

“As the title sponsor, we couldn’t be more excited about the roster of champions that we’re sending to the Tour to represent Garmin,” said Jon Cassat, Garmin’s vice president of communications. “With our Edge 705 on their handlebars guiding their way, we all look forward to cheering Garmin-Slipstream as they push the pace of the peloton.”

Not returning from last year’s Garmin Tour selection are Magnus Backstedt (retired), Will Frischkorn, Trent Lowe and Martijn Maaskant. The Dutch classics specialist Maaskant is the team’s reserve rider.

Garmin-Slipstream for Tour de France
Julian Dean (NZl)
Tyler Farrar (USA)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Dan Martin (Irl)
David Millar (GBr)
Danny Pate (USA)
Christian Vande Velde (USA)
Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
David Zabriskie (USA)