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"Because of the the time I had lost, I wasn't really playing for the general classification. I just thought it's the last day and to kind of leave it on the line and take my chances," van Garderen says

Photo: Sirotti






15.06.2014 @ 20:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Criterium du Dauphiné didn't live up to expectations for Tejay van Garderen who had hoped to be in contention for the overall win but after days of suffering, the American ended the race on a high. Today he played a prominent role in the final stage and got close to the stage win with a late attack.


BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen rode to a sixth-place finish Sunday after being part of a large breakaway that radically shuffled the general classification on the final day of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Van Garderen attacked on the first of four climbs of the 131.5-kilometer race, forcing a selection of 23 riders – four of whom were within four minutes of race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)


"Because of the the time I had lost, I wasn't really playing for the general classification," van Garderen said. "I just thought it's the last day and to kind of leave it on the line and take my chances." 


Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) – third-place in the standings and just 39 seconds off the lead – drove the breakaway to the summit finish with help from Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), who also had hopes of moving up overall. Inside the final four kilometers, Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) attacked. Van Garderen tried to bridge the gap but was overtaken as Nieve soloed to take the win.


"I was just thinking it was the last chance, go for broke and leave it all on the line," van Garderen said. "I came up a little short, but at least I gave it a shot."

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the race was unlike any in recent memory.


"It has been a long time since I have seen a stage this hard and this crazy," he said. "We told all the riders they could take the breakaway today. It was good to see Tejay up there taking his chances."


Behind van Garderen's group, BMC Racing Team's Darwin Atapuma was shadowing Contador, who tried in vain to hold onto his yellow jersey.


"The day was super hard," Atapuma said. "It was a short stage, but really fast with lots of attacks from Sky. Overall, I am pleased with how the race went for me. This was great preparation for the Tour."


Contador finished 10th, 1:15 behind, to lose the race overall to Talansky, who was fourth on the stage. Van Den Broeck, who had been fifth, climbed to third overall.


Van Garderen arrived 15 seconds after the stage winner and finished 13th overall. Atapuma was 18th, 2:38 back, and wound up 18th overall.


"It was a good day for Tejay and good work for him this week and Darwin also had good legs," Ledanois said.



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