VAN GARDEREN CLINCHES THIRD OVERALL IN FIRST DAUPHINé
June 15, 2010
HTC-Columbia first year professional Tejay Van Garderen says he is more than satisfied with his recent third place overall in the recent Criterium du Dauphiné stage race in France, behind Slovenia's Janez Brajkovic and Spain's Alberto Contador.
"I was expecting to get maybe a top ten or top 15 overall because I was carrying good form from the Tour of California," Van Garderen said. "So I stayed motivated from May onwards, but I was really surprised and pleased to get on the podium. I mean, look at the guys I was standing next to! If you had told me that was going to happen before the race I wouldn't have believed you."
Van Garderen said that it was only half way through the eight-day stage race that he had begun to think that a high placing overall was a possibility. "After the mid-week time trial I was sitting in second place by a good margin, and it looked like I was climbing better than some of the other GC guys. The first summit finish [on stage four] wasn't so good, I didn't feel snappy and I was a little timid. But I came through ok and got through the other stages well. It's definitely the high point of my career so far."
Previously scheduled to do the Tour of Austria, Van Garderen is now set to take part in the Vuelta á Espana in August. "The team said I should get a good rest and not even touch the bike for a week. But after that, I'll start thinking about the Vuelta."