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"Tejay told me if I had good legs, it would be good to go in the breakaway. I am happy for Tejay, because he is getting better every day," Atapuma says

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)








12.06.2014 @ 18:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

BMC got their Criterium du Dauphiné off to a bad start as Tejay van Garderen lost time in the first summit finish. Since then, the American has improved and today both he and teammate Darwin Atapuma moved up in the overall standings.


BMC Racing Team's Darwin Atapuma worked his way into the breakaway Thursday at the Critérium du Dauphiné and rode himself into the top 20 in the overall standings while teammate Tejay van Garderen also moved up. Atapuma was part of a 16-rider breakaway that was not overtaken until the final climb of the 189.5-kilometer race.


Van Garderen also continued his climb up the overall standings by placing a team-best 13th on the day. He remains 2:22 behind race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) but moved from 19th to 15th overall. Atapuma finished 22nd on the stage and improved to 20th overall, 3:31 behind, with three days remaining.


"It was a hard day because it was very fast from the first climb," Atapuma said. "Tejay told me if I had good legs, it would be good to go in the breakaway. I am happy for Tejay, because he is getting better every day."


Van Garderen and Amaël Moinard were part of a select group that shook free from the peloton on the final climb and joined Atapuma's escape. But they could not catch Simon Spilak, who soloed out of the original breakaway to win Team Katusha's second straight stage, 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling) and Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) and 17 seconds ahead of a 23-man chase group containing van Garderen, Atapuma and Moinard.

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said having a rider in the breakaway for the second straight day took pressure off the riders behind.


"Most important was the communication between Tejay and Darwin," Ledanois said. "I like the communication between the riders. Darwin did a good job and Tejay was with Froome in the first group. I think Tejay will have good legs for the next few days."


The BMC Racing Team had several riders caught up in a large crash in the first 15 km. Van Garderen, Greg Van Avermaet and Dominik Nerz were all involved, with Nerz later withdrawing due to a cut below his left knee that required stitches, BMC Racing Team Dr. Roger Palfreeman said.


"It is a big disappointment because I started the race with stomach problems and I was not feeling great the first three days," Nerz said. "Wednesday was the first day I started feeling better and I thought I was getting back to the level where I thought I had been. But with this crash, it has broken down everything."



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