Van Garderen ready for Le Tour leadership

Jun 26, 2014
Category: Tour de France 

While it hasn’t been an ideal build up to his first Tour de France as team leader, 2013 Amgen Tour of California winner Tejay van Garderen proclaims himself healthy and ready to lead American outfit BMC Racing in pursuit of yellow. The American who will be making his fourth start at the 21-stage Tour de France on July 5 will be joined by three teammates who competed in the recent romp around the Golden State: fellow American Peter Stetina, Greg Van Avermaet and Michael Schar. The rest of the squad includes veterans who helped guide Cadel Evans to victory at the 2011 French Tour: Marcus Burghardt, Amael Moinard, Daniel Oss and Peter Velits along with newcomer Darwin Atapuma, a Colombian climber.

Van Garderen took ill and had to withdrawal from Paris-Nice in March and fractured his hip during the prologue of the Tour de Romandie in late April. Showing flashes of the form that garnered him the best young rider title and a 5th place GC finish at the Tour de France in 2012, Van Garderen was the runner up at the Tour of Oman and scored a stage win at the Volta a Catalunya this season.

"I don't think the setbacks are going to have any effect on how the Tour de France is going to be raced. The bottom line is you can come back from just about anything if you have put in the work in the winter. I have trained hard and have a solid base and solid foundation of training. It's just a matter of not having any bad luck," said the 25-year-old Tacoma, Washington native.