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"In the end, I would say the day was a pretty big success. Froome gained a little bit, but I was able to distance a couple people and keep most of the important guys pretty close."

Photo: Sirotti

TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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06.07.2015 @ 21:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen placed sixth on the finish climb of the Mur de Huy Monday at the Tour de France to move into third overall, while teammate Greg Van Avermaet was 15th and stands fifth overall.

Following an unprecedented neutralization and stoppage by race officials past the halfway point of the 159.5-kilometer race, Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha) took the stage win ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky). Van Garderen arrived 11 seconds after Rodriguez and is 13 seconds behind Froome, who assumed the overall lead. Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) is second overall, one second back.

"It was another hectic day as we knew it would be. We saw some pretty bad crashes out there and a lot of confusion with the race being neutralized for awhile," van Garderen said. "In the end, I would say the day was a pretty big success. Froome gained a little bit, but I was able to distance a couple people and keep most of the important guys pretty close.

 

“I didn't notice there was crash until all of a sudden cars told us to stop. Oss went down a little bit but we've got our nine guys together and they did the perfect job of keeping me safe.

 

“I've done Fleche Wallonne a few times but I've never really contested the finale. It was interesting racing with the front-runners on that climb.

 

 

"I really have to give it to the team today. They did a perfect job of keeping me safe and at the front."

The race was stopped inside of 50 kilometers to go following a crash involving more than a dozen riders, including BMC Racing Team's Daniel Oss. Race officials said their decision came about "due to the extraordinary circumstances of the crash at a very high speed ... and to allow the injured riders to be back in the peloton."

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the decision changed the complexion of the race.

"It was very strange," he said. "I cannot remember a time when the organizer has stopped the race during the Tour de France or during the Giro d'Italia after one crash. If you don't have the neutralization and stoppage, you do not have the same race."

Oss's injuries - which include superficial facial cuts and a sore left wrist - are not serious enough to prevent him from starting the next stage, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said.

Tuesday's stage is 223.5 km and the longest of the three-week race. It includes seven sectors of cobblestones as the race heads into France for the first time. Van Avermaet said he looks forward to the conditions.

"The cobbles suit me a little bit better and it is also not totally flat, which is good for me," he said. "There is a little bit of uphill on the cobbles, so I am looking forward to tomorrow. The main goal is Tejay for sure, but I hope to go for a stage victory."

 

“Tomorrow is going be like the last of the mini-monuments, we had the crosswinds, the Ardennes classic, now the cobbles. Everything got alright so far but we must keep calm. It can change tomorrow. We have to stay focused," van Garderen said

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