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"Maybe I'm a four star instead of a five star. You'd have to ask some of the other contenders about how seriously they take me a threat."

Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport

TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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26.04.2016 @ 09:33 Posted by Renaud Breban

Tejay van Garderen will be one of the two BMC leaders at the Tour de France. The US rider hopes to shine on French roads and to improve his best results (5th). Interviewed by Cyclingnews, he is understandably optimistic about his Tour chances. With new teammate Richie Porte, he says that his team will have an advantage.

 

"I think I'm where I need to be. The first part of the season was pretty successful, and starting at Ruta del Sol I had some positive things to take from there, including a victory in the TT", he told. "Tirreno was a bit of a hiccup, but that was mainly down to circumstances rather than luck. I bounced back at Catalunya, and now I'm just going to keep on trucking along towards Romandie, the Dauphine and then the Tour. I've stayed healthy too, and I've not really missed a beat in terms of training days. If you look around about 90 per cent of the peloton has got sick this spring, and I've avoided that. I've got to be happy with that."

 

Van Garderen admits that it is not natural to regard him as a top favourite yet.  "There was the fab four last year (Froome, Contador, Quintana and Nibali). I didn't make that list. Then part of the way through the Tour I was on the list, but then a few days later I was off it again. All those guys have won grand tours, and I've not finished on a podium in one yet so it makes sense if I'm not on the forefront of their minds, but that can only be an advantage, right? I've raced them enough, and I've beaten them enough on a few occasions. Maybe I'm a four star instead of a five star. You'd have to ask some of the other contenders about how seriously they take me a threat," he said.

 

"I'm going into the race thinking that I'm a GC contender, and maybe it's a good thing if some people underestimate me. I'm going into the Tour though with high hopes and high expectations."

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