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Tejay van Garderen powered his BMC timemachine TM01 to third place. (©Casey B. Gibson)
Tejay van Garderen powered his BMC timemachine TM01 to third place. (©Casey B. Gibson)

Amgen Tour of California, Stage 5: Van Garderen Into Second Overall

18. May 2012

On the strength of a third-place performance in Thursday's individual time trial, BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen moved into second overall with two of the Amgen Tour of California's toughest stages still to come.

Satisfying Performance
Van Garderen finished 34 seconds behind new race leader David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda) in the 29.7-kilometer race run on a mostly barren, shadeless out-and-back-course near Bakersfield College. Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) was second, 23 seconds behind Zabriskie, while Robert Gesink (Rabobank Cycling Team) finished fourth and moved into third overall, five seconds behind van Garderen. "Gesink had a good ride and he's going to be difficult to control," van Garderen said. "He's obviously come back from his injuries on a good level to put in a performance like that." Van Garderen said he was pleased with his ride astride his BMC timemachine TM01, though he felt he started too fast in the first half, which featured a tailwind. "I got too excited catching Chris Horner than gauging my own effort, and I paid the price on the way back," he said. "I rallied on the climbs and started putting out some good power. But on the false flat, headwind section I was really starting to suffer."

Not At Full Strength
Heading into the first of two major mountain stages before Sunday's final day in Los Angeles, the BMC Racing Team also has George Hincapie (12th, 1:30 behind) and Brent Bookwalter (20th, 2:05 behind) in the top 20. But the loss of Steve Cummings and Steve Morabito to a crash on Stage 2 makes it nearly impossible to take an aggressive approach on Friday's finishing climb at Big Bear Lake, BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said. "We are definitely feeling the loss of the two Steves, who would have been extremely helpful to Tejay on the big climbs," Sayers said. "We hope we can just work hard to maintain Tejay's place on the general classification. Matching the strength of a rider the caliber of Gesink, who has a really strong team here, will be difficult."