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Tejay van Garderen received tremendous teamwork from the BMC Racing Team leading into the final climb. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Tejay van Garderen received tremendous teamwork from the BMC Racing Team leading into the final climb. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 5: Tough Finish

8. maart 2012

Mende, France

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen lost contact with the leading group on the final leg-breaking climb to the finish Thursday at Paris-Nice, conceding 30 seconds but keeping his hold on the Best Young Rider jersey.

Podium Not Out Yet

Fewer than 15 riders were in the leading group when van Garderen slipped back with 600 meters to go. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) soloed to win the 178.5-kilometer stage, six seconds ahead of a small chase group that included race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling). Van Garderen crossed the line 12th and slid from third to sixth overall, 39 seconds behind Wiggins. "The team rode perfectly and I wish I could have stayed a bit closer on the final climb," van Garderen said. "With the time trial coming up (Sunday), I still have a good shot for the podium. A couple of the guys ahead of me aren't time trial specialists, so I'm hoping to get the podium back."

Good Teamwork
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said he was proud of van Garderen's performance on the final twisting, three-kilometer climb that averaged 10 percent grade. "This is the first time he's done this climb so it's a good learning process," Verbrugghe said. "He was good, but just not good enough to follow the best riders." Earlier, the BMC Racing Team assisted in a chase of four breakaway riders. The effort cut what had been a more than five-minute lead with 50 km to go to less than two minutes with 30 km left. "We had good teamwork today for Tejay," Verbrugghe said.

View photos of the stage here: flic.kr/s/aHsjz5L6Qr