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Tejay van Garderen (in white) was well-protected by the BMC Racing Team all the way to the final climb. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Tejay van Garderen (in white) was well-protected by the BMC Racing Team all the way to the final climb. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 5: Van Garderen Into Top Five

8. March 2013

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen finished fourth on Friday's mountain-top finish at Paris-Nice to climb into fifth overall, but conceded time to new race leader Richie Porte (Sky Procycling), who soloed to the stage win.

The Right Moment
Van Garderen shadowed previous race leader Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) all the way up the final climb. Looking back, van Garderen said it might have been a bit of a missed opportunity when he didn't follow Porte when he attacked to catch and pass stage runner-up Dennis Menchov (Katusha Team). "You kind of had to pick your moment because there was a lot of headwind," van Garderen said. "If you attack into a headwind, then you're not going to go very far. Porte definitely picked the right moment. I felt good on the climb but I guess I'm not as explosive as I could be. Maybe that was due to the cold."

Tricky Stage Saturday
With two stages remaining – including a final uphill time trial Sunday, Porte now leads Talansky by 32 seconds, with van Garderen a further 20 seconds behind. There are nine riders within 14 seconds of each other, sandwiched in places fourth through 10th overall. "Everything is still really tight," BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said. "Tomorrow is maybe not the most difficult stage, but it's a tricky one, so we have to be careful. Today, the whole team was working well. We set up the plan to protect Tejay until the foot of the last climb, being there in the front and avoiding the crashes and the nervousness of the peloton. After that, we knew it would be a big one-to-one fight between the leaders."

Click here to listen to complete comments from Lelangue and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.