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"I do think it's a pity that there's no proper time trial. Prudhomme was quoted as saying the winner of the Tour should be the most complete rider,  but he's missing one key element to make it a truly complete rider wh...

Photo: Sirotti






20.12.2014 @ 13:32 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Tejay van Garderen believes he can still equal or better his fifth place in the Tour de France in 2015, despite the lack of time trialling kilometres, which the American usually excels in.


"I do think it's a pity that there's no proper time trial," van Garderen said. "Christian Prudhomme was quoted as saying the winner of the Tour should be the most complete rider, which is why he put in the stages in the Ardennes and the stage with the cobbles and the big mountains, which I agree with, that the Tour de France winner should be a complete rider, but he's kind of missing one key element to make it a truly complete rider who wins."


But what he lacks in TT kilometers, he can make up for in the tem time trial, a discipline where his BMC Racing Team are currently World Champions. There is 28km of team time trial. He also thinks he can gain time on the cobbles if the team’s Classics stars like Quinziato, Drucker and van Avermaet can help him.


"We're the team time trial world champions, and we have a good team time trial there," he said. "We're a strong Classics team, so on the cobblestones and in the crosswinds in Utrecht I think we'll be one of the strongest teams, so we definitely have plenty of chances to take advantage."


The first stage is a 14km time trial, and van Garderen is hopeful that if the conditions are right, he can gain some time on the pure climbers like Quintana and Rodriguez.


"If we get a stiff headwind, that means we're out there for longer," van Garderen said. "In 20 minutes, a real specialist compared to someone who is maybe not so good against the clock, that could be a good 45 seconds or something."


Van Garderen also defended himself against the people who raised eyebrows at the news that Lance Armstrong motorpaces him occasionally. He says he expected some people to have their doubts but he says he has done nothing wrong.


"I kind of expected to hear a little bit about it," van Garderen said during a press conference. "But I mean, at the end of the day I just felt that it wasn't really fair that we can go to George Hincapie's gran fondo, we accept that Christian Vande Velde can be our commentator, I give interviews to Frankie Andreu, but Lance is the evil guy, and I just don't see how there can be that double standard.”


But he didn’t ask Lance to motorpace him to make a statement, he just needed someone who had a motorbike and some time to spare.


"It was really just that my normal motorpacer was out of town," van Garderen said. "[Armstrong] lives a couple blocks down the road. He has a Vespa and some free time, so I just asked him. I was just like, 'Hey, can you spare an hour?'


"People can think what they want, but I think the story is old enough now, and I think with all the other riders in his similar position, he's been punished enough. I don't think he's … I don't know. I'll stop there."




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