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“For Tejay, the Vuelta is a chance to prove that his withdrawal was an accident. It’s also an opportunity to discover another grand tour, one that is being raced differently. It’s going to be an apprenticeship.”

Photo: Sirotti






20.08.2015 @ 10:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Forced out of the Tour de France close to the podium last month, Tejay Van Garderen could be out for revenge in his first ever Vuelta. But for his BMC team director Yvon Ledanois, the American is above all going to learn in an event “that is raced differently from others”.


“I hope he has swallowed the pill of leaving the Tour so close to Paris with a podium within his reach. I know that he has worked hard for this Vuelta, that he has recovered with his family and left his doubts behind. But there are other leaders with more experience of the race and bidding for great results. We’re not going to start as favourites,” the Frenchman said.


Van Garderen left the Tour de France through illness in the17th stage as he was lying third with four days to go before Paris. At 27, the BMC team leader has only done the Vuelta once - when he made his grand tour debut in 2010.


“For Tejay, the Vuelta is a chance to prove that his withdrawal was an accident. It’s also an opportunity to discover another grand tour, one that is being raced differently. It’s going to be an apprenticeship.”


The French team director, who spent a lot of his career in Spain, considers the Tour of Spain as a more open race as it takes place in the end of the season and because its course is ideal for smaller Spanish teams to express themselves.


“I adore this race. It’s not a closed race and the course is magnificent with nine mountain top finishes. It’s a different approach when you start by 45 degrees before finding yourself in Andorra for a stage with 5,000 metres of vertical drop. It leaves the door open to beautiful breakaways.”


Van Garderen should count on the support of France’s Amael Moinard but also former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, who will ride his 8th edition of a race he always finished in the top 15, even reaching second place in 2009. 


“We’re going to see how Sam feels but at his age and with is experience, he will first of all have a role as a race captain. It would be a mistake to put pressure on him by making him a leader. He knows himself well and we’ll see whether he has the legs or not. But I’ve rarely seen such a professional rider. He is essential in a team for his experience and his knowledge of the race. He is my key rider.”


While BMC will not field a pure sprinter, they will bring along Luxembourg’s Jempy Drucker, the recent winner of the RideLondon Classic.



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