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Tejay van Garderen received some help with his radio from Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois during Monday's race. (Photo by Sean Weide, BMC Racing Team.)
Tejay van Garderen received some help with his radio from Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois during Monday's race. (Photo by Sean Weide, BMC Racing Team.)

País Vasco, Stage 1: Frenetic Finish

1. April 2013

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen was among a group of 17 riders who steered clear of a crash at the top of the final climb of Monday's opening stage of Vuelta al País Vasco. Van Garderen's group stayed clear on the run-in to the finish to cross the line five seconds ahead of the chasing peloton.

Nervous Moment
The crash came seven kilometers from the end of the 156.5-kilometer stage that featured six categorized climbs. Van Garderen, who finished 11th, said wheels touched and several riders went down to the right of him. "There was a big fight toward the top of the climb because it was downhill and technical all the way to the finish – so I think people were nervous about splits and gaps," he said. "It's a good confidence booster to have a little bit of a buffer on some of the GC (general classification) guys. At the end of the race, five seconds isn't going to be a decisive factor. But psychologically, it's good." BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said he was pleased van Garderen did not lose time to overall favorites Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) and Richie Porte (Sky Procycling) but disappointed world road champion Philippe Gilbert was not part of the front group. Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) won the stage ahead of Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). "It wasn't a bad result for the team," Ledanois said. "I think tomorrow is a good opportunity for Philippe and I hope we have good weather again."