Going into the Criterium du Dauphiné, Tejay van Garderen was hoping to be up there with the best in the mountains but in the first mountaintop finish, he lost considerable time to his Tour de France rivals. He now reveals that a fractured hip forced him to take a longer break than planned when he returned to the USA after the Tour de Romandie.
This year Tejay van Garderen is set to be the sole leader of the BMC team at the Tour de France and the American has been given a racing schedule that should see him hit peak condition for July. Hence, it may have been a bit worrying for the team management to see their American star lose more than 2 minutes to the likes of Alberto Contador and Chris Froome in the first mountains stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné.
However, van Garderen refuses to panic and now reveals that his lack of form is not just a consequence of a long break from racing. He last raced in the Tour de Romandie where he crashed in the prologue before abandoning a few days later. Now he reveals that he actually fractured his hip on that occasion which set him slightly back in his preparations.
“I was optimistic coming in here but dealing with the injury that I had at Romandie, I had to take a couple of weeks where I was off the gas a bit," he told Cyclingnews. "I posted some good training numbers coming in and thought I should be fine but it’s obvious that I need a bit more race rhythm and a bit more building before July.
“I hadn’t told anyone this until yesterday but I told my teammates yesterday that when I returned to Aspen I had a scan and it showed a small fracture in my hip. After a couple of weeks there was no pain and I was able to ride. I increased the intensity a bit and I thought I’d done enough to be good here but if I look at it and I’m realistic this week needs to be a building week. By next weekend, I should be up there and closer to the leaders.
"Now’s not the time to hit any panic buttons, it’s about staying the course, doing my thing, and staying realistic and optimistic. The best thing to do here is to go as deep as I can because that’s the best thing for me heading into the Tour.”
After the Dauphiné, van Garderen will finalize his preparations at an altitude training camp.
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