Ian Garrison will no longer drive for Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 2022. The 23-year-old American makes the switch to the continental L39ION of Los Angeles.
Vincent Van GenechtenSource: Cyclingnews
Garrison made the switch two years ago from Hagens Berman Axeon, the talent factory of Axel Merckx, to the top team of Patrick Lefevere. He had then become American time trial champion and had taken silver at the U23 World Time Trial Championships. However, the expected leap forward did not materialize at Deceuninck – Quick-Step, despite participating in the Vuelta in 2020.
Now the American is trying to relaunch his career at L39ION. “I know him from his time as a junior,” said director Reed McCalvin, who also worked for Hagens Berman Axeon for ten years. “He is very calm, calm and mature for his age. And very energetic in a competition. Ian is always the same person: sitting in a chair or racing at 40 km/h.”
“I know, however, that Patrick Lefevere told Ian that his services were no longer needed,” McCalvin told Cyclingnews. “He was treated like a number there. Or better: like a bottle of water that was just thrown aside. I told him that our door is always open and spoke to him again after the Joe Martin Stage Race. And he agreed.”
The American team has big plans for Garrison, who according to McCalvin can “control 80 percent of a game”. “He can win any time trial if it doesn’t go uphill all the time,” it sounds. “Ian is truly one of the best. Hopefully he can reset his mental health and then give it his all. We want to save such guys and give them a platform to be happy. If he wants to drive for us for another 20 years, great. If a WorldTour team wants him, that’s fine too.”
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Garrison himself does not consider his period at Deceuninck – Quick-Step a failure, but it is challenging.
“When you’re the only American, it challenges you in a positive way. But it also makes you appreciate the camaraderie of other Americans. So I am looking forward to racing in a more relaxed environment, where the interests are not so great. That’s not better or worse, just a little more relaxed. I am grateful for the experience and I have learned a lot. I also have a good relationship with some guys,” said the speed rider.
“However, COVID was a big challenge. As a result, I realized that my personal affairs must first be in order before I can perform at the top level. That made me want to go back to the US.”
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