Crucial day for Van Garderen in Paris-Nice as Montagne de Lure looms
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Crucial day for Van Garderen in Paris-Nice as Montagne de Lure looms

by VeloNation Press at 8:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
American rider close to yellow, but needs to recover more time from his rivals

Tejay van GarderenSitting sixteen seconds off the race lead of Andrew Talansky heading into today’s fifth stage of Paris-Nice, BMC Racing Team leader for the event, Tejay van Garderen, knows that he likely needs to try to get closer to yellow on the finishing climb of Montagne de Lure if he is to win the race overall.

While van Garderen is a very strong time trialist, he won’t want to leave everything down to the final day’s TT up the Col d’Eze; riding well today is important, both in terms of not conceding any time to dangerous rivals, but also in trying to get past some or all of the eleven riders currently in front of him in the general classification.

“Talansky is obviously riding strong and there are a few other contenders,” he said at the conclusion of yesterday’s stage, where he finished in the leading group with the other GC riders. “[Richie] Porte is looking really good, Lieuwe Westra is looking really good. I would expect a battle between those guys.

“I’m in there too. I feel good,” he continued, while acknowledging that Talansky is in a better position than he is at this precise point in time. “It is definitely better to be up sixteen seconds than down sixteen seconds; it is a tight race.”

Van Garderen said that he believes the outcome of the final general classification will be determined today and in Sunday’s final time trial. In terms of tactics, he suggested that a target may well be to try to isolate Talansky from his Garmin-Sharp team-mates.

The American recognises that while his compatriot is a real contender for the overall classification, that his Garmin-Sharp team line-up is limited in this race in terms of being able to fully protect the race leader.

Talansky was left on his own in yesterday’s finale after his team-mates burned all their matches earlier in the stage, and while he coped well under the circumstances, van Garderen and others will hope to capitalise either today or tomorrow in similar circumstances.

“He is definitely riding phenomenally. He is definitely a tenacious competitor,” he said of his fellow American. “I am happy for him, but at the same time I am not that happy for him…I still want it [yellow].

“We kind of know that his team is not the strongest on the climbs in this race. If we can isolate him and put him on the defensive, that could be a good tactic.”

Montagne de Lure: 'We know it's not an easy climb to handle'

Van Garderen’s BMC Racing Team directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois said that his rider is tired, but so too are the others in the race. “Since the start of this Paris-Nice the weather has constantly been changing from rain to sun and wind. It's always tiring for the riders, but it's always the case in Paris-Nice,” he said. “Today is the D Day when you see how everybody reacts to the conditions.

“Tejay is tired like everybody else but he has prepared for this and now there's still a lot of riders who can do well on Lure. We know it's not an easy climb to handle.”

Ledanois is clear on which riders he believes are most dangerous. He describes Talansky as the number one contender, and also tips Porte as one who could do well. However while he has another rider in mind as the most likely stage winner, he notes that he is not in a position to challenge for the overall.

“As for Nairo Quintana, to me he was one of the favourites for the overall standings. Now he lost time because of a crash and his only objective left is to win this stage,” he said. “To me, he would have won at Montagne de Lure even if he was still a contender for the GC.”

In that sense, van Garderen’s tactic may end up be around trying to stay with Quintana when the inevitable attack comes, thus hoping that Talansky won’t be able to last the pace.


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