Vande Velde's form on the up prior to Giro
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vande Velde's form on the up prior to Giro

by VeloNation Press at 10:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Tour of Romandie

Following a fairly quiet start to the season, Garmin Transitions’ leader Christian Vande Velde is starting to show signs of improving form in the Tour de Romandie.

The 33 year old placed fifteenth in yesterday’s 23.4 kilometre time trial at Moudon, conceding one minute and fourteen seconds to the surprise leader Richie Porte (Saxo Bank). The Australian was a full 26 seconds ahead of the next rider, Alejandro Valverde, and so Vande Velde was close to the other big names in the race.

Garmin Transitions team director Johnny Weltz said that he was satisfied with the ride. “Today was a 23km time trial with a long climb of some 7km,” he said after the stage. “Christian had a good ride and was not far from his normal concurrents [competitors] except for the surprising winner who gapped everybody.”

He said that he expected him to fare well on today’s 157.9 kilometre fourth stage to Chatel, plus tomorrow’s concluding leg to Sion. “VDV [Vande Velde] is going better every day and is still in the mix for the GC, especially with two hard mountain days coming up.”

The Chicagoan started today’s stage sixteenth overall, 54 seconds off the leader’s jersey held by Michael Rogers (HTC Columbia).

Vande Velde’s early part of the season was hampered by an ankle problem, then he was ill for some time. More recently, he was 31st in the Volta a Catalunya and 75th in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Providing he can continue building his condition, he is a contender for a podium finish in the Tour de France.

He placed an excellent fourth in 2008, then was eighth last season despite a huge crash in the Giro d’Italia, which left him short of preparation. He will take part in the Italian Grand Tour once again as part of his buildup for France in July, using the three week event to get in a block of racing kilometres.


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