Showing its depth, Team Garmin-Sharp is currently competing in both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of California--where world class cyclists are putting it all on the line for a chance at victory. In Italy, 25-year old Garmin-Sharp rider Ramunas Navardauskas won stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia in a dramatic solo breakaway. We caught up with Navardauskas in a team car as it made its way from his post-stage press conference duties to the team hotel. Narvardauskas recalled that during the final kilometers of the mountainous 182-kilometer stage from Tarvisio to Vajont near the Austrian border he was riding off the front with BMC rider Daniel Oss: “We pulled real hard, almost like teammates,” Navardauskas said of the duo’s effort to separate themselves from a larger break that got established some 80 kilometers into the race. “I was riding for 10 or 15 kilometers with him, and I saw that he was not in the best shape when we needed to climb, you know? So in the last seven kilometers, I attacked. I accelerated once. I accelerated twice, and I saw that he was getting gapped. I just did my tempo and he didn’t have the good legs for that.”
Navardauskas added that during those final kilometers he focused not so much on dropping Oss, but going at his own personal limit. “I was trying to go my own speed and I made a small acceleration,” the Lithuanian
With five kilometers remaining, that was the burst that cracked Oss and set Navardauskas free for his third grand tour stage win, after having been on Garmin squads that won team time trial stages at the 2011 Tour
de France and 2012 Giro. Navardauskas also won a stage of the Tour of Romandie three weeks ago, and said today’s win will be good for team morale. “Yesterday was a bad day for us, but today we showed that we are still in good shape and we will keep going. I think we will go for another stage win—we are able to do it,” he said before hopping out of the car and heading in for a well-deserved post-race massage.
Meanwhile, at the Tour of California, Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar who
finished third just a day before, found himself in the mix in the closing section of stage 4. The powerful sprint specialist, who seems to be finding his groove, out-sprinted the field to take the stage victory, giving Garmin two victories on the day! Temperatures have been off the charts in Southern California, yet as the stage heads north and temps fall, we expect the racing to become much more intense. Be sure to follow along during Friday's time trial as Garmin's Dave Zabriskie will do his maximum effort for a chance to taste victory himself.