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"I’d like to do GC and I’d like to stay up there, but form is a little bit of question mark. I’ve been training at home and I haven’t raced in a while, so it’s difficult to gauge where I am compared to som...

Photo: ©Tim De Waele/TDW Sport




23.08.2015 @ 15:40 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Tejay van Garderen has told Cyclingnews that while he wanted to ride his home race, the US Pro Challenge (where he has won the last two editions), the course of the Vuelta a Espana was too good to miss, meaning he is riding the race for the first time since 2010.


"Having looked at the profile, the Vuelta looked like it suited me pretty well with the TT and everything, and sometimes it’s good just to keep it fresh. The past five seasons have been almost exactly the same, so this is my first time on the Vuelta since 2010, my neo-pro season. It’s almost like going full circle, and I’m excited just to change things up a bit."


Like a few of his rivals, van Garderen doesn’t know exactly how his form will be coming into the race, meaning he is unable to put a number on his GC objective.


"I’d like to do GC and I’d like to stay up there with the best guys, but form is a little bit of question mark. I’ve been training at home at altitude and I haven’t raced in a while, so it’s difficult to gauge where I am compared to some of the other guys," he said.


"But I think a lot of the guys are in the same situation, anyone who came from the Tour is probably in the same situation, so I’m not going to put a number on it, like I want to finish top three or top five or whatever. I want to stay with the best guys, take my opportunities when they come and try to have a little fun."


Van Garderen certainly has good Vuelta memories, after his first appearance at the race ended with his HTC-Highroad team winning the team time trial, Mark Cavendish taking three sprint wins and Peter Velits a TT win and third on GC. Now he has repeated the feat in the team time trial with BMC.


"I kind of got a free role that year and I kind of got to do whatever I wanted. I was helping Mark Cavendish in the sprints and I think he won four stages (Three, ed.) and the sprint jersey, and Peter finished on the podium," he said. "And my first memory, of course, was that we did a team time trial there on stage 1 at the night-time and we won it, so straight away my first Grand Tour experience was a victory."




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