Van Garderen performs above own expectations in season-opening Tour de San Luis
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Van Garderen performs above own expectations in season-opening Tour de San Luis

by VeloNation Press at 6:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Second overall an encouraging sign as American heads into important season

Tejay Van GarderenAlthough he didn’t expect a top ten overall in the Tour de San Luis, young American rider Tejay van Garderen performed far above his own expectations in the Argentinian race with second overall in the event.

The 24 year old finished just 33 seconds behind the surprise winner Daniel Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos), and beat Tour de France rivals Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Tinkoff) and Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol), who were fourth and fifth.

The performance is a considerable encouragement for van Garderen, who originally envisaged a quieter performance.

“I was actually thinking I was going to get the stage win in the time trial and I wasn't that keen about even going for the GC,” he admitted. “But [directeur sportif] John Lelangue and the team really motivated me to get it going.”

Van Garderen finished fifth, sixth and seventh on mountain stages in the race, and was also seventh in the time trial. Each of those performances were unexpected, but for different reasons.

“I was actually surprised at how up there I was – and how not up there I was in the time trial,” he said. “My climbing legs feel really good and being able to gauge myself against some of the other competitors that I'll be facing when I get to Europe was good. I think I'm stacking up pretty well.”

Van Garderen was fifth overall in last year’s Tour de France and given his youth, he’s expected to continue progressing. Riding so well early on in the season is a confidence booster and something which will please the BMC Racing Team management and team-mates.

The Argentinian trip gave an additional reward with victory in the team classification too. Lelangue takes considerable satisfaction in this. “It's not so often that we win the team GC and we did it with help from two of our new guys: Daniel Oss and Dominik Nerz,” the Belgian said.

“The idea was to build a team around Tejay with a few Classics riders and some climbers working around the leader and going for the GC. This was really good training for them. When you can win the team GC of such a challenging race that has a long time trial, two mountain top finishes, one mountain stage and two sprint stages, it shows you can be regular during seven days.”

Van Garderen will next line out in Paris-Nice, which begins on March 3rd.


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