Van Garderen Runner-Up At Tour Of Oman22. February 2015 — Road Team
Tejay van Garderen finished runner-up at the Tour of Oman Sunday and joined the BMC Racing Team on the podium as winners of the team classification. (©Tim De Waele/TDWsport)
For the third straight year, van Garderen finished runner-up in his season-opening race. He was nine seconds behind Tour of Oman winner Rafael Valls (Lampre Merida) while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) finished third, 19 seconds back. Last year, van Garderen was also runner-up at the Tour of Oman, to Chris Froome. In 2013, he was second overall to Daniel Diaz at the Tour de San Luis.
Van Garderen said his result was both encouraging and motivating.
"Sometimes when you win, you get a little complacent and you think you are where you need to be," he said. "When you get second place, it lights a fire and gets you a bit more motivated. I am going to train hard this next week and stay on track. Hopefully, I can bump it up another level at Paris-Nice."
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said he hoped there was a chance for van Garderen to make up time on the final 133.5-kilometer stage. But strong crosswinds that were forecast never materialized and a four-man breakaway that led by nine minutes at one point survived to the finish. Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) took the stage win as the peloton arrived 1:16 later.
"We planned to attack where there was a crosswind," Piva said. "But when we arrived in the place where the wind was supposedly going to be strong, it was not strong enough to make echelons. Then, no team wanted to chase."
Van Garderen said the cancellation of Saturday's stage, a 151.5-kilometer race that was to feature four climbs in the last 60 kilometers, was disappointing in more ways than one.
"I wasn't expecting that we were just going to win the race yesterday," he said. "But we definitely had a chance to and I would have liked to have tried, if for no other reason than to get a good race in my legs. We were here to race and I would have liked to have had the opportunity. But we have to live with it and go forward."
Joining van Garderen on the winning team was Damiano Caruso, Ben Hermans, Michael Schär, Dylan Teuns, Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Velits. Alessandro De Marchi was to be the team's eighth rider, but he was unable to start the six-day race due to illness.
The victory in the team classification was the BMC Racing Team's second of the season, following a win at the Dubai Tour earlier this month. Van Garderen said he was pleased with how well the team worked around him.
"Sometimes it is funny in the first race of the year, getting to know everybody's riding style a bit," he said. "But we had no issues. Everything fell right into place. It was easy to follow the wheels. The team always knew what to do. It was super professional. It seems like we are already well into the middle of the season. There was very little I had to tell my teammates. They already knew what they had to do."
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