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Vaughters continued: "Our past mistake is to wait and wait and wait because we think that we can win the race late and then, 'Oh, crap.' This time we weren't going to wait."

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That trust, Vaughters said, stemmed from the team camaraderie and from Wegelius, who ended his 11 year pro career after last season and who Vaughters praised as "the best neo director ever.

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"We're aware of the risks, but we're willing to take them," Wegelius said. "What are you going to do roll around and finish fourth, fifth, sixth? That's not an option."

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Tom Danielson, who went on the attack on Stage 1, then again for a win on Stage 3, said that Wegelius was the linchpin of the whole operation.

"We don't have radios," he said. "I can't yell at (the riders) like, 'You better get in the break!' When they leave the bus to the start line, they have to have bought into the plan."

"The work he had to do over Independence Pass, the work in closing down the move on Flagstaff, that's cumulative fatigue. That's bike racing. We forced him into a position where he had to ride on the front a lot, which rarely happens for a team leader, and because of that, Christian was able to save himself."

have taken too many of these for granted in my career, he said. attitude is always happy go lucky and 'If it comes, it comes.' This time I was like, way, man; I'm in too good of shape, and I can push the pedals harder than everyone else.

The start house was a study in contrasts for the Nike Roshe Girls Black And White

With a home state race, followed by a Monday appearance at title sponsor Garmin's headquarters, how would it look if the Roshe Run Floral Pack

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The plan came together late. The day before the race started in Durango, manager Jonathan Vaughters said that he and Charly sat on lawn chairs by the dorms of Fort Lewis College where the teams were staying. They had a glass of wine and came up with the strategy.

Nike Roshe Run Womens Trainers In Pink Orange

Nike Roshe Run Womens Trainers In Pink Orange

In public, Wegelius was all confidence as his team took the offensive most of the week, but underneath that veneer lay a number concerns. What if the riders didn't buy into his plan? What if it managed to blow up not just the race but also its riders?

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team failed to get any results?

Better bets were Leipheimer or Tejay van Garderen (BMC). But a week of hard racing slowly, and subtly, changed that.

´╗┐How Garmin Won the 2012 USA Pro Challenge

said, I know that, Charly, but this is what we should do. Vaughters had been thinking of the same tactic.

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Vande Velde was not a favorite going into the time trial. Roshe Run Siren Red On Feet

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"Charly knows how to work us and understands that if you make a plan and say, 'Guys, this is what we do, no questions asked, and that there is no plan B, only plan A, we can do it."

Said Vaughters: so incredibly motivational and smart and has so much passion for the sport."

None of it, said Vaughters, would have been possible without two crucial ingredients: Wegelius's leadership and the riders' trust.

"In American races, we've gotten 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, won a team GC, and done everything you can possibly do except win the whole damn thing," he said. Garmin did win the 2008 Tour of Missouri.

overall contenders. Race leader Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma Quick Step) rolled out almost relaxed. Vande Velde quivered with caged energy.

"It's all a momentum thing," said Tyler Farrar, Garmin sprinter, who took both sprint stages. "You start winning and get the momentum behind you and everyone's happy, and the confidence gets higher and it seems easier. I think if the race went a few more days we'd get even more wins because everyone's kind of on a high right now."

At the beginning of the USA Pro Challenge, I asked Garmin Sharp director Charly Wegelius about the wisdom of putting so many riders in all a breakaway on the first day. Not that many expected the move to be pivotal to the overall title that Garmin was targeting.

Wegelius thought the aggressive tactic would work but was worried about possible fallout. "He was kind of waiting for me to give him the sponsors' perspective," said Vaughters. "He was nervous, like, Nike Roshe Run Womens Trainers In Pink Orange 'You know, if we throw it all on the line like that, it could go to hell in a handbasket and we might not even have a guy in the top 10.'

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Garmin did have to wait until the final day, though, to seal victory with an impressive time trial by Christian Vande Velde, second on the day only to TT phenom Taylor Phinney of BMC.

Vaughters acknowledged that the team's tactic put riders in the break until it cracked the field play out exactly as it had envisioned. "But what did happen is the race leader (van Garderen) had to respond a lot, and his team was constantly under pressure, and that builds up," he said.

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