Ryder Hesjedal to Lead Garmin-Barracuda, is it Enough for 2012 Tour de France?

Michael HatamotoContributor IIIJune 21, 2012

Ryder Hesjedal // Garmin Barracuda
Ryder Hesjedal // Garmin Barracuda

American cycling squad Garmin-Barracuda will ride the Tour de France with a skilled and experienced team, expecting to pick up stage wins and have a rider competing in the general classification (GC).

Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, will lead the team’s GC ambitions.  However, if he falters—which is likely after a hard three-week effort in the Giro—Garmin-Barracuda has Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson ready to step up.

Here is the full Tour de France roster for the team:

Ryder Hesjedal
Christian Vande Velde
Tom Danielson
Tyler Farrar
Robbie Hunter
Dan Martin
David Millar
Johan Vansummeren
David Zabriskie

I was doubtful of Hesjedal’s overall GC ability, but he proved me very wrong during the Giro.  He rode extremely well, and was able to climb with some of the best pure mountain goats in the world.

Team director Allan Peiper had this to say about the team (via Cycling News):

We have put together a well-balanced team with an emphasis on support for our leader, Ryder. We have Christian and Tom, both excellent climbers who each have had great GC rides in the Tour and have shown their strength in recent racing. Dan Martin, making his Tour debut, rounds out the climbers of the team. 

The climbers will have the support of TT specialists David Millar and David Zabriskie along with Johan Vansummeren, who will also be able to help out sprinters Farrar and Hunter in the quest for stage wins.

I expect Garmin-Barracuda to stay active both on flat stages and in the mountains, but the team’s GC results will be minimal. 

However, with the likes of Zabriskie and Millar mixing it up during the prologue and time trials, there is the opportunity for glory.  Also, Farrar is one of the peloton’s fast men on flat roads, so he has the chance to pick up a stage win or two.