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"The tactic tomorrow is going to be to stay glued to Chris's wheel and try not to give him any room. It is going to be a tough fight. I am sure the breakaway is going to go crazy because it is the last stage of the race and it is t...

Photo: Sirotti




13.06.2015 @ 21:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team regained the overall lead on the penultimate day of the Critérium du Dauphiné Saturday by finishing runner-up to Chris Froome (Team Sky).


Van Garderen and his BMC teammachine SLR01 arrived at the mountain-top finish 17 seconds after Froome and more than three-and-a-half minutes ahead of previous race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), who had taken the leader's yellow jersey from him on Friday.

"I am absolutely thrilled," van Garderen said after overcoming a 42-second deficit that had dropped him to fifth place. "We tried to stay positive after that crazy stage on Friday. We took all the positives we could out of it. The guys in the breakaway had to spend so much energy yesterday, so we thought it might catch up with them today.


"I couldn't be more pleased. Having the yellow jersey with one day to go is great. Team Sky really rode early on for Chris Froome. I was happy that I worked with him. When we were away just the two of us, I thought this is perfect but when he accelerated with 1.5km to go, he came with so much speed, there was no way I could follow him but I was hoping that if I'd keep my rhythm I could pull him back. It seemed like the gap staying pretty small but two days ago I was able to close, today I wasn't able to close it.


"I'm extremely happy to be back in yellow. The team was a little bit bound out after yesterday but today everyone contributed really well and had a solid ride. 18 seconds isn't much, especially when you think of the time bonus at the finish. We've got work ahead of us tomorrow but all we can do is our best. American riders have a rich history in this race and I'm proud to be part of it."

Van Garderen holds an 18-second advantage over Froome heading into another mountainous 156-kilometer race through the Alps. Benat Intxausti (Movistar Team) sits in third, 45 seconds back. No other riders are within a minute of the lead.

"The tactic tomorrow is going to be to stay glued to Chris's wheel and try not to give him any room," van Garderen said. "It is going to be a tough fight. I am sure the breakaway is going to go crazy because it is the last stage of the race and it is technical again. But the team is ready, I am ready, and we are going to fight to the finish line."

Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said van Garderen finished off the terrific job the BMC Racing Team did to deliver him in good position to the last climb of the 155 km race. In the final 3.5 km, Froome and van Garderen overhauled the remnants of what was once a 26-man breakaway. Froome then attacked van Garderen with 1.5 km to go but could not significantly increase the gap.

"Today was a hard day because Team Sky went full gas the whole stage," Ledanois said. "For us, the plan was all for Tejay. We did not try to take the breakaway. All of the guys were around him, helping him. I told them I wanted to see Tejay in the top position at the foot of the last climb and Rohan Dennis and Samuel Sánchez did a good job of doing that. Then Tejay took over and was great in the final."



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