Garmin's Svein Tuft regains his time trialing prowess of old
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Garmin's Svein Tuft regains his time trialing prowess of old

by Jered Gruber at 8:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Canadian time trial champion excited about the final months of the 2010 season

With yet another two win day for the Garmin-Transitions team on Tuesday courtesy of Dan Martin and Svein Tuft, it's safe to say that Garmin-Transitions is on a tear right now. As Jonathan Vaughters pointed out on Twitter today, the success of August 18th is just another day in the Garmin tradition of doubling up.

"Two wins, one day… Garmin-Transitions may not win the most races, but we're king of the double header!"

Young Dan Martin continued his torrid form of late, adding on to his stage and overall win at the Tour of Poland with the win at the Tre Valli Varesine today, while Canada's Svein Tuft continued his own run of form with his second win of late with the win in the Eneco Tour prologue to go along with his win 10 days ago in the Stage 5 time trial at the Tour of Denmark.

Following his 2008 appearance on the World Championship time trial podium with a sterling second place behind Bert Grabsch, Tuft moved to the big time with Garmin. His 2009 and 2010, all the way up until this summer, were marked by solid work as a teammate and a number of solid time trial finishes. Tuft's season took a marked turn for the better though starting at the end of June with yet another win in the Canadian National TT, followed a little over a month later with success in Denmark, then a week and a half later, another win, this time at the Eneco Tour.

Afterwards, a smiling, jubilant Tuft spoke to the Garmin team website, "I kind of had a feeling about today! I didn't expect to take it by that much, but I had a good feeling today."

Tuft was a little bit humbler speaking with Het Laatste Nieuws in the moments following his great victory.

"It was indeed a surprise for me. Taking risks in the corners paid off. Classification riders like Edvald Boasson Hagen and Tony Martin probably race it a little less emphatically than I did, and so that was to my advantage. Especially in the corners, we always had a headwind coming out of them, so I dared not slow down too much through the turns."

In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Tuft admits that his day didn't start off all that great. The after effects of a hard day in Hamburg on Sunday were still strong in the big Canadian.

"We ended up having to kill ourselves on the front in Hamburg to bring the breakaway back. I was hurting pretty good Sunday and all day Monday, thinking 'Geez, I do not feel good at all. I was pretty worried this morning, but getting on the trainer and doing my warmup, I started to feel really good. Everything was clicking."

The feeling of everything clicking has been a foreign one for Tuft over a long period of months. It has been a long road for him to return to the level that saw him on to the Worlds podium two years ago.

"It's taken me a while to get my time trailing form back. I've been struggling with it after my head injury last year, and it seemed at times like 'was it ever going to happen again?' But it's really come together in the last three or four months."

It will be difficult for Tuft to hold on to his leader's jersey for too long if he can't continue to take high placings in the stages. Time bonuses have always formed a crucial part of the Eneco Tour, and this year should be no different. Tuft has a solid team around him for his team in the lead though.

"The next few days, I will certainly try to defend the jersey. With Johan Vansummeren, Martijn Maaskant, and Robbie Hunter, we have some guys with experience. They can get me past the dangerous sections."

The opening two stages will undoubtedly finish in bunch sprints, but the hard part begins on Friday with a terrible romp through the Flemish Ardennes, which will include 16 climbs in the 193 kilometer stage, with two ascents of the Oude Kwaremont - the final trip up the famed cobbles will come with less than 10 kilometers remaining to the finish in Ronse.

"There are a lot of hard stages to come, including the bergs and cobbles of Flanders and the hills of the Limburg region as well. We've had some good experiences here though - last year we got three stages and spent some time in the lead with Tyler Farrar."

The success over the past 10 days has buoyed the 33 year old from British Columbia. Tuft confesses that the highlights of his season are still to come.

"This win gives me confidence for the upcoming World Championships course. Along with the Commonwealth Games, which are one week after Worlds, that will make up my main goals of the season."

Tuft concludes his telephone chat with the Vancouver Sun with promising words: "Yeah, the way things are going, I'm pretty excited about the next couple of months."


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