In the post-Lance Armstrong era, Team Garmin-Cervélo is proving it's possible to win clean. Since the squad pioneered a rigorous internal drug-testing system in 2007, not a single rider has tested positive.
Team Garmin-Cervélo won its first-ever stage victory on Sunday, repeated the feat Monday, and is currently No. 1 in the team standings while squad member Thor Hushovd is the overall individual winner so far.
There is little doubt that its riders are clean: the squad has pioneered a rigorous system of drug testing that goes far beyond the mandatory tests imposed by cycling officials. Since the team went pro in 2007, not a single rider has tested positive.
“I am confident that clean riders can win big races,” said team director Jonathan Vaughters after Garmin cyclist Tyler Farrar won Stage 3 on Monday. “The proof is in the pudding. We’ve showed [it's possible.]"
Indeed, in the post-Lance Armstrong era, Garmin-Cervélo is emerging as a new sort of American champion – one that can win at cycling's marquee event without the cloud of doping doubts that has hovered over everyone from seven-time Tour victor Armstrong to this year's favorite, Spaniard Alberto Contador.
Garmin's success, particularly its unprecedented win on Sunday, is also a landmark moment for Vaughters, a former teammate of Armstrong and an outspoken opponent of doping.
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