Van Garderen underlines his support for Evans in Tour de France
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Monday, April 01, 2013

Van Garderen underlines his support for Evans in Tour de France

by VeloNation Press at 6:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Young American states that he’ll ride for his Australian team-mate in mountains

Tejay van GarderenAlthough Cadel Evans’ surprise announcement last week that he will ride the Giro d’Italia prompted some speculation that Tejay van Garderen rather than he would lead the BMC Racing Team in the Tour de France, the younger rider has moved to dispel any such speculation.

Van Garderen, who finished two places ahead of Evans in netting fifth in last year’s Tour, has said that there is no question about what his role will be. “Of course I will be helping him at the Tour de France. He’s the leader of the team and is a past winner,” van Garderen told www.ciclismointernacional.com.

Evans won the race in 2011 but then struggled to reach the same form last year. He was later diagnosed with a virus and believes this was the reason why he was below par.

The Australian started his season well with second overall in the Tour of Oman, but since then has been a more distant 22nd in Tirreno-Adriatico and then 51st in the Critérium International, a race he won last year.

He said last week that he would ride both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, explaining that both he and the team felt that it was necessary for him to follow such a programme in order to hit peak form in the latter Grand Tour.

Van Garderen stated earlier this year that he wouldn’t deliberate hold back on climbs. Asked to clarify those remarks, he explained how he expects to ride the mountains.

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t wait if he had a problem. What I said was I’m not going to hit my brakes after helping him on the climbs. I will have my own chances for good finishes, but my number one job is helping him in the mountains first,” van Garderen said.

Unlike Evans, he intends only riding one three week race in 2013. That’s less about avoiding a second Grand Tour, and more about targeting other races. “Right now, the plan is for me to help Cadel Evans at the Tour de France. One of my other favorite races – the USA Pro Challenge, which is in my home state of Colorado, is always an objective for me,” he said. “And it’s in direct conflict with the Vuelta a España. And the Giro d’Italia directly conflicts with the Amgen Tour of California. So my own goal races have kept me from doing other Grand Tours.”

As regards the Amgen Tour of California, he makes clear what his goal is; after netting second in the Tour de San Luis, fourth in Paris-Nice and third in Critérium International, he wants to step up a level. “I am doing the Vuelta al País Vasco this coming week, but only to test where I am right now.

“My next big race is the Amgen Tour of California, which I would like to win…”

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