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Tejay van Garderen (center, in white) kept the lead in the best young rider classification he has held since the start of the race. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Tejay van Garderen (center, in white) kept the lead in the best young rider classification he has held since the start of the race. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Tour de France, Stage 4: Evans Escapes Danger Again

4. July 2012

For the second consecutive day at the Tour de France, BMC Racing Team's defending champion Cadel Evans narrowly avoided a crash near the finish while teammate Tejay van Garderen was caught behind Wednesday's pile-up but received the same time as the winner to keep his lead in the best young rider competition.

Classics Riders Important
Evans and Marcus Burghardt were the only two BMC Racing Team riders not delayed by the crash, which happened in the final three kilometers of the 214.5 km race. Van Garderen said he didn't see much of the pile-up that took down world road champion Mark Cavendish, but he was quick to react to it. "You don't really have time to think," he said. "You're just holding your brakes and trying to stay balanced. I was lucky I didn't go down and that it was inside three kilometers, so we got the same time." Van Garderen remains fourth overall, 10 seconds behind race leader Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan), while Evans is seventh, at 17 seconds. Burghardt said the BMC Racing Team's roster is built well to protect Evans on the flat stages that seem to pose the most danger. "We saw last year it was really important to have the classics guys, especially in the first week," he said. "You have a lot of crashes and you can have some crosswinds, so you must be prepared. I'm not sure if you can do that with a team of just climbers."

Listen to complete comments by Burghardt (English), Philippe Gilbert (French), George Hincapie (English) and Tejay van Garderen (English and Dutch) on the BMC Racing Team Tour de France AudioLine.