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The BMC Racing Team supported team leader Tejay van Garderen (riding behind George Hincapie) in the first of two straight mountain stages. (©Casey B. Gibson.)
The BMC Racing Team supported team leader Tejay van Garderen (riding behind George Hincapie) in the first of two straight mountain stages. (©Casey B. Gibson.)

Amgen Tour of California, Stage 6: Van Avermaet Sixth

19. May 2012

BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet sprinted to sixth place Friday for his third top 10 finish at the Amgen Tour of California, while teammate Tejay van Garderen protected his second place overall on the first of two days in the high mountains.

Good Teamwork Essential
Van Avermaet and van Garderen were part of a group of 40 riders that arrived at the long, uphill finish 28 seconds after solo winner Sylvain Georges (Ag2r La Mondiale). Heading into Saturday's queen stage at Mt. Baldy, 10 riders remain within 90 seconds of race leader David Zabriskie (Garmin-Barracuda), including van Garderen (34 seconds behind) and teammate George Hincapie (1:30). "The only thing that would have been better today was for Peter Velits not to get four seconds (for a third-place finish)," van Garderen said. "Tomorrow, I'll use the team as much as possible and have them deliver me to the bottom of the climb in best position. I think there are a lot of tired legs right now." Van Avermaet said he was feeling good after playing a supporting role on the 186.3 kilometer stage. "I'm really happy with my condition," he said. "It was my strongest day of the week. Tomorrow, we will work again for Tejay to help him keep his position on the GC."