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"I really want to make the podium or even higher - anything is possible - but to say I'm putting in all my chips, I'm going to do it this year and it's now or never? It's not now or never."

Photo: Sirotti

TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

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27.06.2015 @ 14:50 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After finishing a close second to Chris Froome at the Criterium du Dauphine, BMC captain Tejay van Garderen says he is heading into the Tour de France in better form than last year when he finished fifth overall, and that means the American is targeting the podium.

 

"Everything seems right on track," van Garderen said in a recent conference call with reporters. "All the numbers in training, the weight, the health, everything seems to be going perfect. I took a lot of motivation and morale out of the Dauphiné result, so I'm just excited to get things going."

 

Van Garderen knows that in order to reach the podium, he has to fend off fierce competition from Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana, Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet. But he says that he has beaten them all before one individual days and says that gives him confidence.

 

"I believe on any given day I can beat those guys," he said. "I've shown already that I've beaten them before. It's quite another thing to beat them consistently over three weeks. But if you look at past stages of races I've done, just this year at Catalunya when I won the stage to La Molina, Contador was third. On the stage to Pra-Loup this year in the Dauphiné, Bardet won the stage, I was second and Froome third. So it's not like when those guys attack I just say 'Ok, I'll see you later.' I'm getting closer to them."

 

After having ridden an altitude camp after the Dauphine, van Garderen says he was even better than he was at the Dauphine, which bodes well for the Tour.

 

"Now I'm back at sea level at my place in Nice just putting some finishing touches on things, making sure I stay sharp, watching my diet and my weight," he said. "I think I was pretty close to there, but now, heading into the Tour, I think I'll be a good notch and a half higher."

 

"This is all pointing to good signs, but then again, what you can do in training and what you can do in a racing scenario is completely different," he said. "Guys like Wiggins and the guys on Sky, I know they like to talk a lot about the numbers, and all the VAM and the TSS and all that sort of hocus pocus stuff. There's something to it – numbers don't lie – but they also don't tell the whole truth."

 

He confirmed that this year the podium, or higher, will be his goal for the race. But he says he has many more years to make the podium if he fails to do so in 2015.

 

"I'm very motivated and I'm very confident," he said. "I'm in a really good place going into this Tour; I think we have a really good team and just all the vibes I'm getting for this Tour are just very good. I really want to make the podium or even higher – anything is possible – but to say I'm putting in all my chips, I'm going to do it this year and it's now or never? It's not now or never. You know, I've got a good six to eight more years of trying to make the podium or win the Tour."

 

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