In advance of the Tour de France start later today, team boss of Cannondale-Drapac Jonathan Vaughters has given his thoughts on each of the riders on his team and what they’re capable of.


“Sebas is the road captain. Highly intelligent and always aware of the race situation, wind direction, roads coming up, and clairvoyant as to what will come. Crucial part of the team for the first part of the race.”

“Along with Langeveld, Matti Breschel forms the brain of the team. A handy sprinter on his own right, Matti also knows how to handle the intense and dangerous first week of the TDF.”

“Pierre needs a sidekick in the mountains and we all know Texans love Frenchmen. Lawson proved he’s up for that role in the Vuelta last year. He’s also as durable as the Texas sun is hot. I have no doubt we’ll be hearing a few hoots of “remember the Alamo!!” as Lawson makes Sam Houston proud from his grave.”


“Koko can do a bit of everything. He can climb quite well when needed, he knows how to keep a leader up front and in good position on the flat, and is an all-around very nice guy. Koko knows his work and gets on with getting it done. He speaks with his legs, not his tongue.”

“Loyalty and dedication. There has never been a bike rider willing to do more for his team and his team leader than Alex Howes. Loyalty deserves loyalty in return.”

“While Tom- Jelte isn’t a pure climber, he handles smaller pitches with the best. Winning TDU and two stages of Paris-Nice proves this. Tom will be crucial for middle mountain days and for shepherding Pierre early on in bigger mountain days.”

“Ramunas has won stages in both the Tour and the Giro. He has a knack for finding the right breakaway at the right time. A bronze medalist at last years world championships, Navardauskas is not only a selfless worker, but an outright champion on his own two feet.”

“Dylan can serve as a body guard and wind shield for Pierre in week one. But Dylan is more than that. Come week three, he’ll start to climb with the leaders, like last year. When others get tired, Dylan starts to roll. Also, he’s got a neat little sprint and a good tactical nose. Pair that with tired bodies in week three, and the boy can win from a breakaway.”

“I truly believe Pierre has untapped potential as a grand-tour rider. He’s never been able to start a Tour de France without a sizable deficit after the first week. If we, as a team, can give him a good first week, I have no doubt he will repay in treble during the tour’s final week.”


  1. Just finished reading David Millars book, The Racer. Did JV ever explain why they dropped DM so close to his final TdF considering everything he had done for the team?


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