Van Garderen seeking to replicate California success in USA Pro Challenge
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Van Garderen seeking to replicate California success in USA Pro Challenge

by VeloNation Press at 5:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
American BMC Racing Team rider believes he’s in much better form than in Tour de France

Tejay Van GarderenThird overall in 2011, second overall in 2012, Tejay van Garderen is planning to continue his upward curve in the USA Pro Challenge, which begins tomorrow in Aspen.

The American rider has the all round abilities necessary to take the overall victory in the race, and has the additional motivation of wanting to bounced back after an uncharacteristically quiet Tour de France.

The BMC Racing Team rider had finished fifth overall in the French event last year but this time round, he was far off his usual pace and finished only 45th.

Van Garderen believes he’s turned things around and has worked hard to be in the right condition. “I'm definitely motivated to win,” he said. “It's not going to be easy. Garmin-Sharp has a really deep team. Sky has a really deep team. But I like my chances here.”

Van Garderen had to balance the correct amount of recovery and then training after he returned from the Tour de France. He had to ensure his energy levels were back to normal after that quiet French campaign, and then work on honing his form for his next big target.

He has been doing that near his home in Boulder and also used that time to check out several of the stages.

The 24 year old has identified the stage five time trial to Vail as being of particular importance.

“I've done a lot of work in the time trial position, going uphill. I think the biggest part of that is going to be the pacing strategy and doing a full-gas effort uphill at about 10,000 feet,” he explained. “It's easy to blow up, so you really have to pace yourself. I'm definitely hoping to have a better run at it than I did in 2011.”

What’s clear is that if he does get into a position to win, that he will have the confidence to do so. He drew a lot from his victory in the Tour of California in May, the first major stage race win of his career, and would jump at the chance to be atop the podium again in another major US race.

Van Garderen will be joined by Tour of Austria winner Mathias Frank on the team, as well as the in-form Greg Van Avermaet, who won two stages plus the overall in the Tour de Wallonie, and more recently nabbed the opening stage and three runner-up slots in the Tour of Utah.

Also on the squad are the Americans Brent Bookwalter and Larry Warbasse, the Briton Steve Cummings and Swiss duo Julien Taramarcaz and Michael Schar.

Similar backup for van Garderen as during earlier US success:

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart pointed out the similarities between this lineup and the one that backed van Garderen in the Tour of California. However he believes there’s an important difference.

“Even though it is pretty much the same guys, technically it is a stronger squad because so many of these guys have had really strong rides since California,” he explained.

“Doing well is a matter of having good climbing days and doing a great time trial, and having a team that can look after Tejay. You saw that in California on the windy stage that blew it apart.”

With strong teams such as Sky and Garmin-Sharp to contend with, the BMC Racing Team will look to exploit similar opportunities in the week ahead.

BMC Racing Team for USA Pro Challenge:

Brent Bookwalter (USA), Steve Cummings (GBR), Mathias Frank (SUI), Michael Schär (SUI), Julien Taramarcaz (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Larry Warbasse (USA).


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