BMC Racing Team believes van Garderen can win Paris-Nice
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BMC Racing Team believes van Garderen can win Paris-Nice

by VeloNation Press at 7:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
 
American GC specialist upbeat about form heading towards prestigious French event

Tejay van GarderenFifth overall last year and the best young rider in the race, American talent Tejay van Garderen is aiming higher in this season’s Paris-Nice. The BMC Racing Team rider has already performed well this season and believes he had been able to further build on that form, putting him in a good position as he heads towards Sunday’s start of the Race to the Sun.

“My climbing was good in San Luis, and I feel it has only improved,” he said, referring to the sensations he felt while training in California after the Argentinean Tour de San Luis. “Plus, the type of climbs we will see in Paris-Nice suit my ability. The time trials aren't normal, with only a 2.9-kilometer prologue there shouldn't be too big of gaps. The uphill time trial (on the last stage) will shrink the advantage I have over the climbers. But our performance team has worked hard to get the best equipment setup dialed in, so we should be prepared.”

Team directeur sportif John Lelangue sets the targets high, believing that the team will be in a position to fight for the final yellow jersey.

“We are bringing a strong team totally dedicated to Tejay,” he said. “There is never pressure, but we are going to Paris-Nice to win. With Tejay and the progress he has made in the last season, and also what he has done during the winter, and what we have seen him do in Argentina, we are going there to make a good result.”

Van Garderen finished a superb second overall in the Tour de San Luis, performing better than his own expectations. He was fifth in last year’s Tour de France and this plus other past results show that he has the capacity to win Paris-Nice.

However he’s got more going for him than his current shape; he believes the strength of his team could give him an additional boost. Because of that, he’s not concerned about the weather forecast, a factor which has in the past helped determine the winner. “I'm not too worried about it and I have a strong group of guys to protect me in the windy stages,” he said.

Van Garderen will have strong backing in the race, with world champion Philippe Gilbert, Tour of Qatar runner-up Brent Bookwalter, former Paris-Nice King of the Mountains and stage winner Amaël Moinard, Mathias Frank, Dominik Nerz, Daniel Oss and Ivan Santaromita all rowing in behind them.

Gilbert has been training with Van Garderen this week and, having ridden well in the Santos Tour Down Under and the Tour of Oman, he is reassured that he is far ahead of his disappointing form at this time last season.

“This race is one of the nicest on the calendar and also a very important one to step up my condition with a hard week on the bike,” the Belgian said. “I hope to do a nice prologue and give my best to protect Tejay. I am doing much better now than I was 12 months ago.”

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