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BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen remains in the white jersey of Best Young Rider. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen remains in the white jersey of Best Young Rider. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 7: Van Garderen Into Fifth

10. March 2012

Tejay van Garderen moved up from sixth to fifth in the overall standings Saturday at Paris-Nice and former world road champion Thor Hushovd had his best finish to date for the BMC Racing Team with fifth place on the stage.

Uphill Time Trial Sunday
Van Garderen is within 21 seconds of third place after a series of crashes beset Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), displacing him from second place overall. Sunday's final stage is a 9.6-kilometer uphill time trial. "It's a shame for Levi because it's not the best way to move up," van Garderen said. "I'm motivated for tomorrow and I'm feeling good. After seven days of hard racing, my legs still feel sharp." Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) soloed to win the stage, 9:24 ahead of the peloton and 6:18 ahead of Rein Taaramae (Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne), who initially broke away with him. Hushovd, who battled sickness the first few days of the race, was third in the field sprint. "I did the sprint for training," Hushovd said. "I'm feeling better and better so it's a good sign to end the race with better condition than I started."

Burghardt Withdraws
Marcus Burghardt became the third BMC Racing Team rider to withdraw from Paris-Nice. Suffering from a cold, the past Tour de France stage winner said he did it as a precaution. "I was sick already the last two days," he said. "For the upcoming races, it's much better to protect myself now so I can be good at the classics."

View photos from the stage here: flic.kr/s/aHsjyxqoBC