If there’s a PRO with worse luck than Tom Danielson, it could only have been Jonathan Vaughters. Seemingly the only team director able to capitalize on the rider’s phenomenal talent to date has been Tom Schuler for whom the trio of Danielson, Chris Horner and Nathan O’Neil won nearly every race that mattered in 2003. Danielson won Mt. Washington along the way, showing his incredible gift for climbing.
Then he signed for Fassa Bortolo; the move seemed smart because US Postal seemed to have so much talent (and a clear leader) that Danielson wouldn’t have been able to contest the GC at any stage races where his obvious talent lies. So Giancarlo Feretti sent him to one-day races, which is a little like driving nails with a screwdriver.
Danielson has, unfortunately, proven rather fragile. Between injury and illness he probably hasn’t had more than a few weeks at better than 90% since 2003.
But he’s healthy now. Thanks in no small part to the understanding guidance of Jonathan Vaughters, Danielson has been glued back together in a way that would turn Humpty Dumpty green with envy.
Below is a redacted video of Danielson climbing the Mount Montseny southwest of Girona. And yes, the whole thing is in the big ring.