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Tejay van Garderen wears the leader's yellow jersey with three days to go. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Tejay van Garderen wears the leader's yellow jersey with three days to go. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

BMC Racing Team Riders 1-2 After USA Pro Challenge Stage 4

23. August 2013

BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen finished runner-up and took the overall lead Thursday at the USA Pro Challenge, while teammate Mathias Frank was third on the rainy and mountainous stage and held onto second place in the overall standings.

'Perfect Day For Us'
Van Garderen finished in the same time as stage winner Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) in the 165.6-kilometer race that saw the pair get a gap on the rain-soaked descent of the penultimate climb, then work together to roll in 13 seconds ahead of Frank. "I never felt under pressure, especially because my whole team was so incredible," van Garderen said. "I just need to keep my wits about me now, not get too worked up, and focus on doing a good time trial." Frank, who soloed to win Tuesday's stage into Breckenridge, is four seconds behind his teammate on the eve of a 16.1-km, uphill race against the clock in Vail. "It was a perfect day for us," Frank said. "We had everything under control when we hit the bottom of the last big climb. On the downhill, when it was raining, it was also in our favor because we have the best materials in the peloton." Acevedo is third, 30 seconds behind van Garderen, and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), a further 10 seconds back, is the only other rider within a minute of the lead. Van Garderen said he is confident of his strategy for the same time trial that two years ago saw him lose the race lead on the way to a third-place finish. Last year, he wore the yellow jersey for three days and finished second. "I just have to stay calm and be really smart with the pacing strategy," he said. "Having a good margin on Danielson, I just need to conserve and keep a buffer, rather than really try to go for it."

Warbasse In The Breakaway
BMC Racing Team's Larry Warbasse was one of several BMC Racing Team riders who set the stage for van Garderen to take the race lead. The Traverse City, Mich., native was first part of a 10-man breakaway that once led by more than four minutes. Warbasse said he took a bit of flak for not doing his share of the work in the escape. "They wanted me to go back (to the peloton) but I wasn't going to do that," he said. Then, after being caught by a small group that included many of the race favorites, Warbasse turned himself inside out to whittle the front group down to five: teammates Frank and van Garderen, Acevedo and Danielson. "It was cool that I still had something left in the tank to help at the end there," he said. Danielson was first over the top, but van Garderen and Acevedo overtook him and opened a gap on the rain-soaked descent. "We have Continental tires and those handle very well on wet surfaces," van Garderen said. "I don't even think I'm that skilled of a rainy descender. I think it was mainly the tires I had on my bike." BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said so far, things have gone according to plan. "We looked at Stage 2 and we saw there was an opportunity to get time," he said. "We looked at this stage and knew clearly this was the decisive stage of the race. So the time trial, for a guy like Tejay, was maybe a back-up if we didn't have great climbing legs."

Listen to complete comments from Frank, Stewart and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.