The BMC Racing Team will field one of the strongest rosters for this year's Vuelta al Pais Vasco as they line up a team headed by Tejay van Garderen. The in-form American will be joined by former winner Samuel Sanchez and Cadel Evans who is using the race as a crucial step in his Giro d'Italia preparaition.
The BMC Racing Team will field a formidable roster for a challenging edition of Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Sport Director Valerio Piva said. Among the BMC Racing Team's eight riders are three grand tour podium finishers (Cadel Evans, Samuel Sánchez and Peter Velits), two former world road champions (Evans and Philippe Gilbert) and three stage winners this season: Evans at the Santos Tour Down Under, Amaël Moinard at Tour du Haut Var and Tejay van Garderen at Volta a Catalunya.
The six-day race that begins Monday includes several mountainous stages and finishes with a 25.9-kilometer individual time trial. Piva said the team has several riders suited for the general classification.
"After his performance at Catalunya, Tejay van Garderen will naturally be our leader," Piva said. "Sánchez was good at Catalunya, he knows this race very well and he will also have protected status. Cadel is back after Tirreno-Adriatico and a training camp at altitude and Gilbert is here to finalize his classics preparation and maybe there will be a stage for him."
Van Garderen is fresh off a third-place finish at Catalunya and was runner-up at the Tour of Oman.
Sánchez was the overall winner here in 2012 and has two points classification titles (2010, 2012) to go with stage wins in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
"This race is special for me as I have managed to win everything and it is a race I know perfectly," the past Olympic road race champion said. "The good of the team is my main ambition and I want to contribute by either winning a stage or helping my teammates to do so."
Evans said he is comfortable playing a supporting role as he points toward the Giro d'Italia.
"Despite the below-standard results of February and March, things are coming together well," the 2011 Tour de France champion said. "We have had a good period of training that should show in the next races that we are using to build towards the Giro. I would have liked to have had a few more results at this point of the season, but overall, things are progressing well."
BMC Racing Team Vuelta al Pais Vasco Roster (April 7-12):
Darwin Atapuma, Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Amaël Moinard, Dominik Nerz, Samuel Sánchez, Tejay van Garderen and Peter Velits.
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