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Tejay van Garderen was in the lead most of the way up the final climb. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Tejay van Garderen was in the lead most of the way up the final climb. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour de France, Stage 18: Van Garderen Runner-Up

18. July 2013

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen finished runner-up to Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) Thursday as a Tour de France stage featured back-to-back ascents of the famed climb of Alpe d'Huez for the first time.

Caught In The Final Kilometers
"It was painful to lose, but at the same time it was kind of surprising we were even in the hunt for the  win," van Garderen said. "When I did my first attack the first time up Alpe d'Huez, when we only had seven minutes, I didn't actually think at that moment we were going to stay away. I was just doing it to show my presence in the race." Van Garderen was originally part of a nine-man breakaway which splintered the first time up the 13.8-kilometer ascent that features 21 switchbacks. Over the top, it was down to three, with Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling) topping the summit ahead of van Garderen and Riblon. But a technical problem for van Garderen on the already tricky descent of the Col de Sarenne made it even more crucial. "After the technical, he had to wait there on the side of the road. There was no neutral car," BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said. "We were the first ones (to arrive), so we had to change the bike. He lost a lot of energy coming back." After catching and passing the leading two before the start of the climb, van Garderen went solo. But Riblon overtook him in the final two kilometers of the 172.5 km-race to win by 59 seconds. Chris Froome (Sky Procycling) finished seventh and increased his lead over Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) to 5:11.

Listen to complete comments from Lelangue, Steve Morabito and Tejay van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France Audio Line: