CALPE, Spain (VN) — A new co-sponsor, some new faces, but Garmin-Barracuda is hoping to hit the repeat button for 2012 following its best-ever season last year.
With victory at Paris-Roubaix and a great Tour de France that included four stage victories, a week in the yellow jersey and victory in the team prize, the U.S.-registered squad is expecting more of the same for 2012.
“We’ve reached a level where we are competitive with the best teams in all the races we go to,” said veteran team captain David Millar. “Last year was our best season ever, without a doubt, especially in the Tour. The only thing missing is trying to win the thing; maybe that’s something we can build on for the future.”
Winning the Tour might not be quite realistic yet for Garmin-Barracuda, but a shot at the podium is easily within reach, especially if Christian Vande Velde, Ryder Hesjedal or Tom Danielson hit their stride come July.
Following the somewhat choppy merger of the Garmin and Cervélo squads in 2011 and the exit of lead sport director Matt White, the team will be back on more solid footing for the coming campaign.
“It wasn’t easy last year. It’s not to say we were like two separate teams, but it took us a while to get everything clicking as a unit last year,” Vande Velde said. “When Sumi won Roubaix, that just seemed to get everything going in the right direction. Then we had that great Tour. In the end, it was our best season ever.”