Garmin-Sharp, a top pro American team, provided the 2012 USA Pro Challenge winner in Christian Vande Velde. The squad was originally founded as a development squad by CEO Jonathan Vaughters. Over the years the team has evolved from a group of promising U.S. riders to one of the top teams in the pro peloton, all while staying true to its roots. The squad now has athletes from various parts of the world, including some of the top young talent in the sports, including the likes of Aussie Rohan Dennis, who recently led France’s Criterium du Duaphine.
Last year, the team earned its first Grand Tour in the Giro d’Italia with Ryder Hesjedal of Canada. It also won a team time trial victory. The past two years in 2011 and 2012 have been banner years. In 2011 the team won the Team Classification and four stages at the Tour de France (including the Team Time Trial) and held the yellow jersey for several stages. The team also won the 2011 edition of monument Paris-Roubaix. 2012 also brought a stage win at the Tour de France and an overall victory at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Team Garmin-Sharp has kicked off 2013 with young American Andrew Talansky winning Stage 2 of Paris-Nice and taking the leader's jersey.
The team animated the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, led by Tom Danielson, who attacked from the gun on Stage 1 and again during the Queen’s stage, riding solo into Aspen for a stage win. Vande Velde won the final stage, a time trial, on the final day to come from behind to defeat 2011 champion Levi Leipheimer.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
David Zabriskie started off his cycling career winning time trials and hasn't stopped since. Zabriskie has won seven nation time trial championships earning him the nickname “Captain America.” Zabriskie is also the first American to win a stage in all three grand tours and wore the yellow jersey of leadership in the Tour de France – only the fourth American to do so. In 2009 Zabriskie stood on the top step of the podium as the overall winner of the Tour of Missouri.
At least year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge time trial Zabriskie finished the day in seventh place. However, that course featured 1,800 feet of climbing – a characteristic not suited to Zabriskie. Stage 7 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a flat, fast time trial which suits Zabriskie perfectly.