Hesjedal to Lead “Clean” Garmin-Sharp Team

In The News–Jan. 2, 2014

Despite past allegations of doping, the Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, will be leading the Garmin-Sharp cycling team in 2014.

Canadian Ryder Hesjedal won the 2012 Giro d’Italia (Photo: Team Garmin Sharp Barracuda)

Several under-23 riders have also been added to the team.

He is joined by returning riders Jack Bauer, Tom Danielson, Rohan Dennis, Tyler Farrar, David Millar, Lachlan Morton, Ramunas Navardauskas and Andrew Talansky, according to Yahoo News.

Other additions to the team include under-23 riders, two-time U.S. national trial champion Nathan Brown,Danish road champion Lasse Hansen, Dutch road race champion Dylan Van Baarle and former U.S. under-23 national road race champion Ben King.

“This is our youngest roster ever, which I’m happy about and proud of,” Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp, said in a statement. “It brings us back to the roots of this organization. We have the most talented riders in the world, it’s now our job to help them realize that talent and realize their dreams.”

Hesjedal has managed to escape the claws of professional death by essentially side-stepping claims from other riders that he at one time used performance enhancing substances. This is quite an accomplishment for the squeaky clean Garmin-Sharp team that was formed by Vaughters on the most important fact of being a drug-free team.

The 33-year-old competitor from Victoria, Canada won the Giro d’Italia in 2012, becoming the first Canadian to capture a major European tour event.

In October, he responded to doping allegations in a fellow rider’s book by saying he “chose the wrong path” and made “mistakes.” He did not explicitly say he took performance-enhancing drugs, but apologized to fans, sponsors and other cyclists.

Hesjedal escaped sanction because the 2003 transgression was outside the World Anti-Doping Code’s eight-year statute of limitations.

Garmin-Sharp is reported to have backed Hesjedal because he agreed to work with U.S. doping authorities.