Van Garderen Regains Dauphiné Lead13. June 2015, Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc (FRA) — Road Team
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."
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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