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Garmin-Cervélo 2012 Launch Tidbits

December 2, 2011

[updated 12/8/2011]

Two weeks have passed since Team Garmin-Cervélo presented its 2012 team at the Boulder Theater. But the memories linger. Photos, quotes, and other special moments from that evening keep it alive.

Cervélo bike on display in Boulder Theater lobby

Sign-in table, lobby of the Boulder Theater

The theater’s lobby led to a large rectangular bar at the back of the auditorium, under the balcony seats. Sconces sent streaks of light up the magenta-colored walls. At the end of the bar, Christian Vande Velde’s choice of argyle-patterned clothing added extra glow to the darkness.

Christian Vande Velde's infamous pants

Top half of Christian Vande Velde

While several team members like Christian and David Zabriskie leaned against the bar surrounded by knots of guests, some younger team members clustered together on rows of chairs alongside the bar.

Sep Vanmarcke and Tom Peterson (l to r) (Mary Topping)

Within minutes of the start of the cocktail hour guests moved about by holding glasses in the air and repeating, “excuse me, please, sorry, excuse me.” White-shirted waiters offered among other snacks zucchini fritters and mini-sandwiches. Dessert awaited VIPs on the tables from which they would soon watch the team on stage.

VIP table centerpiece

An evening of firsts

After an introduction by Robbie Ventura and comments from Slipstream executives Matt Johnson and Doug Ellis, Jon Cassat of Garmin took the microphone. Cassat outlined Garmin’s objectives as a team sponsor. He said their objectives had been accomplished every year since 2008, including growing cycling computer sales in Europe.

Then the first showing of the documentary film, “Journey to a Dream,” began. It highlighted race victories with voice-overs by Phil Liggett. Several of the riders shared intimate moments about their early lives and cycling careers in the film:

  • Alex Howes: “Bikes hung over my crib.”
  • Johan Vansummeren: “My mother, she wanted me to go to university and get a degree. But I was a bit sick of school and my father he was a bit sick of us both arguing, I think, so he said ‘you can stop school and you have one year to become a professional bike rider’.”
  • Peter Stetina: “I don’t remember the first time I entertained the thought of going pro. I did so many sports, and I was always the most competitive kid in school. I wanted to finish the test first even if I didn’t do the best, and I wanted to peel an orange fastest. I actually raced my buddy in peeling an orange once.”

Then the curtain opened to reveal a living / dining room setting of cognac-colored chairs, mahogany round tables, and painted desks, complete with a stack of firewood and pokers. Jonathan Vaughters led the audience through a list of firsts by the team: “the first to claim anti-doping, the first to put argyle on spandex, the first not to eat pasta at every meal, the first to allow unfettered access of media to the behind-closed-doors of professional cycling.” He defined the team in one sentence: “A bunch of tiny pieces put together to beat a bigger foe; that’s Slipstream and Garmin-Cervélo.”

Nathan Haas with Jonathan Vaughters (Mary Topping)

Jonathan promised future firsts, including embracing overlooked talent, performing beyond anyone’s expectations, and emerging first on fans’ list of teams. Perhaps he meant repeated firsts?

Zabriskie playing auctioneer (Mary Topping)

Taking the stage

Booming, upbeat music ushered the riders onto the stage. They introduced themselves and responded to audience questions.

  • Christian Vande Velde: “There were crowds at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and then we got to Golden. Golden was insane. We love beer.”
  • David Millar: “I’m trying to treasure every single moment…We do everything to make sure we don’t let each other down.”
  • Thomas Dekker: “I’m thankful they give me a second chance. It’s nice to be back with guys that love to ride their bikes.”

David Millar and Ryder Hesjedal during after-party (Mary Topping)

After the last audience question the team left the stage and continued to visit with fans, friends, sponsors, and staff. New guests arrived; Lucas Euser joined the party. He made his way to Jonathan Vaughters. Lucas leapt across the aisle and charged, tackling Jonathan.

Other reports on the presentation:

A short interview with new Aussie rider Nathan Haas, including details on the infamous 10-mile hike.

Pedal Dancer’s report.

Garmin-Cervélo’s Boulder Camp was as much fun for the riders as the fans, by Velonews.

Garmin-Cervélo’s 2012 squad presented in Boulder, by Velonews.

Dekker, Rasmussen confirmed at Garmin Gala, by cyclingnews.

The team’s news summary, with many candid photos.

Lots of reader commentary flowed from the brief PodiumCafe post.

YouTube video of David Zabriskie singing a “Garminized” version of Proud Mary.

David Zabriskie, profile view (Mary Topping)

Teammates nicknamed David Zabriskie "Wolverine" (Mary Topping)

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