Garmin-Cervélo selects Tom Danielson for first Tour de France
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Garmin-Cervélo selects Tom Danielson for first Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 9:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Full team roster to be announced this week

Tom DanielsonHaving finished fifth in Sunday’s final time trial and ninth overall in the Tour de Suisse, Tom Danielson appears to have landed a slot on Garmin-Cervélo’s Tour de France team. The 33 year old Durango rider will make his debut in the race, lining out with eight others at the Grand Depart at Passage du Gois on July 2nd.

“We seem to produce a surprise in the Tour de France every year,” Vaughters said, according to the Denver Post. “I hope this year that's Danielson.”

Regarded as one of the most naturally gifted riders in the peloton, but also hampered in recent years by illness, Danielson has had to wait until this point of his career to ride cycling’s biggest race. He’s previously finished sixth and seventh overall in the Vuelta a España, and so has the capacity to ride strongly in the Tour. He is clearly in strong form, with his Tour de Suisse performance being preceded by third overall in the Amgen Tour of California in May.

As mentioned by Vaughters, the Garmin-Cervélo team has thrown up surprises in recent editions of the Tour. Christian Vande Velde was fourth overall in 2008, and Bradley Wiggins replicated this position the following season. Last year Vande Velde crashed out of the race, but Ryder Hesjedal stepped up and finished seventh overall.

Both Vande Velde and Hesjedal are expected to be part of the team this time round. The Garmin-Cervélo team has told VeloNation that the full lineup will be confirmed this week.

Good condition:

Danielson was clearly one of the on-form riders in the Tour de Suisse, and spoke of his experience after the conclusion of the race. “We came in quite fresh and rested and just built our form over the challenging nine day race. My work on my TT bike really is paying off as I finished sixth in the prologue and fifth in the TT.

“As far as the mountains went my confidence turned into form as the race progressed. I started a bit slow bonking on stage 1, then being one of the strongest on stage two. The third mountain stage I was very strong, but had a mechanical in the last two kilometres while with the leaders. The final mountain stage I was very strong and spent the whole climb repeatedly attacking.

“All in all ninth is a nice result, but I am most happy with what my body is telling in the last days of this race. That is, I am coming into some nice form with some nice confidence to back it for the next month. I am very excited!”

Danielson has been prone to nerves in the past, but becoming a father has changed his mentality and given him a new mental strength. That too has helped secure a slot in the Tour. He’s looking forward to the Tour de France, but doesn’t want to make any predictions.

“I honestly don't know what it means to me,” he told the Denver Post on Monday from Girona, Spain. “I'm a pro. I focused a lot on being at a high level. I just want to continue doing my job and reach the highest level possible.

“On the last day of the Tour, I'll tell you what it means to me.”


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