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Tejay van Garderen (leading) continued his climb up the overall standings, moving into the top five after Friday's mountain stage. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Tejay van Garderen (leading) continued his climb up the overall standings, moving into the top five after Friday's mountain stage. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour de France, Stage 13: Van Garderen Moves Up

18. July 2014

Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team climbed from sixth to fifth in the overall standings Friday on the strength of a sixth-place finish on the Tour de France's first day in the Alpine mountains.

Dealing With The Heat
On a day when temperatures soared, van Garderen lost contact with the leading group on the climb to the finish of the 197.5-kilometer race. But riding his own pace, van Garderen recovered to finish 1:23 behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), who soloed to win his third stage. "I had confidence coming in, but dealing with the heat is a different element and sometimes I struggle with it," van Garderen said. "So I am happy to have had a good ride. It was a climb that suited to me, so I just tried to stay in my rhythm and I am happy to have moved up." Van Garderen is 5:19 behind Nibali, who enjoys a 3:37 advantage over second-placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team).

Help From The Team
Van Garderen received support from teammate Peter Stetina in the early parts of the 18.2 km climb to the finish. "We just had to keep him in the front and keep him out of the wind and in good position," Stetina said. "It ended up being a real hard day because Katusha had their big, strong classics guys rolling the front all day. So by the time we hit the climbs, two-thirds of the field was dead." Earlier, the BMC Racing Team had Daniel Oss in a nine-man breakaway that was brought back as the final climb began. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the stage went according to plan. "For us, it was perfect," he said. "It was a hard day and we have another one to come. But all the guys did a good job today. It is a step-by-step process."

Listen to complete comments from Ledanois and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France Audio Line.

View photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Watch behind-the-scenes videos on the BMC Racing Team's YouTube channel.