TORONTO — Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, looking to put past doping questions behind him, leads a 2014 Garmin-Sharp cycling team that has been reinforced with young recruits.
He is joined by the likes of returning riders Jack Bauer, Tom Danielson, Rohan Dennis, Tyler Farrar, David Millar, Lachlan Morton, Ramunas Navardauskas and Andrew Talansky.
Additions include two-time U.S. national under-23 time trial champion Nathan Brown, Danish under-23 road champion Lasse Hansen, Dutch under-23 road race champion Dylan Van Baarle and former U.S. under-23 national road race champion Ben King.
"This is our youngest roster ever, which I’m happy about and proud of," Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp, said in a statement. "It brings us back to the roots of this organization. We have the most talented riders in the world, it’s now our job to help them realize that talent and realize their dreams."
It’s been a roller-coaster ride recently for Hesjedal. The 33-year-old from Victoria won the Giro d’Italia in 2012, becoming the first Canadian to capture a major European tour event
In October, he responded to doping allegations in a fellow rider’s book by saying he "chose the wrong path" and made "mistakes." He did not explicitly say he took performance-enhancing drugs, but apologized to fans, sponsors and other cyclists.
Hesjedal escaped sanction because the 2003 transgression was outside the World Anti-Doping Code’s eight-year statute of limitations.
While Garmin-Sharp prides itself in being "100 per cent clean," it has had other riders confess to past doping. It backed Hesjedal because he agreed to work with U.S. doping authorities.