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Garmin Rides High With Winning Tour de France Team

timv's picture

Good article from last week's Kansas City Star newspaper discussing Garmin's sponsorship of pro cycling:

The Olathe-based manufacturer of GPS devices is the title sponsor for Garmin-Cervélo, a cycling team competing in the Tour de France. On Sunday it won its first Tour de France stage victory in the team time trial. Tyler Farrar won the next stage, becoming the first American to ever win on July 4 and the first to win any Tour stage since 2007.

Teammate Thor Hushovd has held onto the overall lead, and the leader’s yellow jersey, four days into the three-week race.

Sponsoring a pro cycling team can cost millions of dollars. Jake Jacobson, social media manager for Garmin, said the company had spent a large amount sponsoring the team, although it wouldn’t release the exact figure.

But, he said, the brand exposure from one of the globe’s biggest sporting events was priceless.

“We’ve essentially had the best advertising in the world,” he said.

Sad to see so many devastating crashes and abandonments, but it's definitely been an eventful Tour so far, and Garmin-Cervelo and Hushovd have been mightily impressive.


roadskater's picture

Tour de France 2011

I've been watching less intently this year but a few things seem interesting (just my opinion). 

As with the Giro d'Italia 2011, it seems they made this very much a climber's course. One would think this favors Contador but maybe others kept enough rest and are peaked better...especially those who didn't do the Giro, maybe. 

It's amazing how many experienced riders and serious contenders have gotten caught up in those first week crashes. Whatever else he did or did not do, Lance made it through all those years in a row by being smart and skilled and probably lucky too. Many have crashed, and Contador was caught out (as has happened before) losing time in very early stages. On the day so many big timers were affected, Voeckler put even more time into the major contenders. Pretty interesting if you like to follow the various stages that make up the final winner. 

It looked like Klöden might be the defacto leader of Radio Shack after Horner crashed and is out, and Leipheimer was seriously back, and Brajkovic crashed out earlier, but Klöden had a crash too. It looks like he'll continue, but in pain. He's one some of the smaller tours as I recall, when teams were split early in the season...seems like I recall him winning a week-long tour for Astana. I think he took the Tour of the Basque Country this year, too, and second to Tony Martin in Paris-Nice.


Pretty interesting how he went out for an hour ride on a rest day. Normal to them is not normal for us, of course. 

Interesting how the Eurosport announcers didn't think L.L. Sanchez was going to take that stage when Voeckler took yellow, picking Casar instead. I wouldn't count Sanchez out of too many things where there's a hilly finish. He was 4th in the UCI World Ranking for 2010 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_UCI_World_Ranking) in very good company. 

Also interesting is how well Tony Martin is ranked thus far in the tour. He's a beast of a rider. 

Note too that Tom Danielson may be coming into his prime years after waiting for his chances to arrive, and he's actually a few seconds ahead of Vande Velde right now. Both are USA riders on Team Garmin-Cervelo. Both of these USA riders show huge promise, and Vande Velde has the experience edge, but I would not count out Danielson as he has the advantage of being less of a marked target perhaps. 

As for this year's UCI ranking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_UCI_World_Tour), let's not forget to mention Cadel Evans, who has been riding well this year, and Joaquim Rodríguez, another one of the tough cycling Spaniards ranking well in overall cycling and in the tours.

timv's picture

tour, sponsorship

I noticed that particular article more for what it had to say about funding and sponsorship and what the people who put up millions of dollars think about their investment. I've compared it to submitting grant proposals in the academic world, trying to convince someone that they're better off giving their money to you than keeping it for themselves.

Good to see that both Garmin the corporation and Garmin-Cervelo the team are happy with the arrangement, or were last week in any case.

I've seen and heard a number of explanations for the crashiness of this year's tour. Dunno which ones to believe. But I'm enjoying seeing the different jerseys pass between the same riders. I was thinking today that it would be interesting if more versatile riders like Philippe Gilbert and Thomas Voeckler could be real GC contenders, instead of it being so climber-specific.

I guess all of the most famous cols are still to come in the second half of the event. Coming in, I thought Contador would be head and shoulders above the rest this year but I haven't seen it from him so far. Yeah, Cadel Evans looks great and has a strong team ready to work only for him. Frank and Andy Schleck haven't made much news so far but that's probably a good thing. They've stayed out of trouble and they have some big locomotives (Cancellara, Voigt, O'Grady) ready to pull for them. Radio Shack seems to be in disarray on the other hand.

It's been entertaining so far if rather sad and painful for the many unlucky riders who've crash and abandoned, or who continue to tough it out despite their injuries. But I'm pretty much expecting a very different story once they reach the Pyrenees on Thursday.

roadskater's picture

It was a fun Tour de France. Waiting for the lab tests.

Hey sorry I didn't come back to this more this year as a conversation about the TdF as it was happening would be fun. Of course there's the spoiler problem, and after waiting until the next day it's sometimes hard to get those initial thoughts back and out. 

I thought Voeckler was great, Gilbert too, and it was great to have France do so well in their home tour, and to find new talent is coming along nicely for them. After rewatching and rewatching World War II in HD Colour or whatever that title is, I have new admiration for what brave feats the French have achieved at times in their histoire, if not at all of them, and certainly think we in the USA owe a lot to their ideals and their ships, guns and money (not having as many lawyers back then, perhaps). Anyway, they host a good bike race with sunflowers so they can't all be bad maybe. 

Radio Shack surely had bad luck or skill this time around. 

Contador seemed to fizzle, either from early bad skluck getting in the second half delayed pack early, and not quite being able to drop the others enough when he wanted to. There was one day where I thought he did a minor bonk in the Alps. Then the next day I think he made a mistake trying to go so early to get away when it was unlikely he'd survive the flats between mountains with wind to stay away from the bunch. I think GIro d'Italia was among the hardest ever, and he was still recovering, and being that far behind did not allow him to recover for as long as he could have had he been able to simply keep up with Andy and Fraenk, as seemed to be Cadel's plan. A good plan had the Aussie. I am glad of it, for the others will have more chances but I don't know how many more Cadel has in the legs. 

I think Voeckler will try to win it all next year, as perhaps we've discussed over pizza. But he did great things and fought like a man rolling for his country as well as himself in my view. Hope we don't find out anything bad about him, as I'd not say it was superhuman performance, but a super, human effort, inspired by good circumstances and being on the home team. We'll see. 

It was good entertainment this year. Cadel really did well to avoid getting suckered into riding someone else's way, doing their work, and by not getting the jersey until the only day it mattered. 

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