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"I don’t reflect much, I just try to look forward and try to have a successful 2016."

Photo: Sirotti

TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS
24.02.2016 @ 08:00 Posted by Renaud Breban

Tejay van Garderen, who finished 2nd overall at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol, will aim a podium at the Tour de France. The BMC Racing Team rider will share the leadership with his new teammate Richie Porte. Interviewed by Pezcyclingnews, he told about his new season and his 2016 schedule.

 

"I don’t reflect much, I just try to look forward and try to have a successful 2016", he explained. "It seems like the last couple of years, I won’t really say I’ve ever had a bad season, but there have been bad periods. Certainly everyone will agree that I haven’t ridden to my full potential. So I don’t really look backwards, but looking forward I just want to try to ride at my full potential. So in 2016, in every race I target I want to ride to the maximum of my ability."

 

In the Tour he will share the leadership role with Porte. "It will definitely give us another card to play, we have split up the roster a little for the start of the year. Richie rode Down Under and I will have a later start with some Spanish races and he is going to Paris-Nice and I’ll do Tirreno. Then we kind of link up in April, end of March and do Catalunya together, we do the Romandie together, we do Dauphine together and then the Tour together. We will get a good chance to get our own results on our own and then see how we can integrate that together. Certainly a lot of other teams are going to be nervous when they see a roster with both me and Richie’s name on it. I remember racing against Richie and Geraint Thomas last year in Paris-Nice, it was almost impossible to race against those two."

 

With two leaders at the Tour de France, BMC Racing Team will be able to gain a lot of WorldTour points. "It shoulders some of the burden of the pressure, like I was saying about my teammates when I had to drop out of the Tour, now Richie can carry half the load, so it’s not like all is lost if something happens to one of us and the team always puts a big emphasis on WorldTour points and the biggest way to score those points is in stage races. It’s only 7 points to win a stage, it’s 100 points to win overall, so you are better off getting 9th place overall than winning a stage. To me it’s kind of silly how the system is set up that way, but GC is the way to score points. So to have two GC guys, that puts the team in a really good position to score some points for the team, which is a good way to make the team happy and put us up there and to show the team’s level."

 

BMC target the top spot in the WorldTour team ranking. "The team makes that a goal to finish in the top three of the WorldTour ranking. That means in all those WorldTour events, like Tirreno, Paris-Nice, Catalunya, they are definitely races we have to target and bring our A game and make sure we perform. Like I said, it takes a bit of the pressure away from me, coz if we have some other guy racking in a bunch of points, then I don’t need to be as stressed about; if one race goes bad, it’s not the end of the World."

 

Van Garderen added that he has set his sights on the Olympics. "The selection hasn’t been made for the US. Of course the Olympics, next to the Tour de France, the biggest, I don’t know where it ranks, but it’s a great honor to do the Olympics. Yeah, absolutely I want to do the Olympics. There is only one spot for the TT and I think only two for the road race, I don’t know exactly, but I think it’s just two. So it’s going to be hard to make the selection. I think at the very least I should be getting one of the spots for the road race and it would be cool to go."

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