Thursday, August 22, 2013

Van Garderen Takes Race Lead, Probably For Good

As expected Garmin-SHARP attacked today to try to take the race away from BMC's Teejay Van Garderen, who was in the best position going into tomorrow's Vail time trial if nothing changed.  After riding a brisk tempo all day to catch Radio shack-Leopard-TREK's Tony Gallopin Garmin surged to the front at the base of the Bachelor Gulch climb.  First Christian Vande Velde and then race leader Lachlan Morton pressed the tempo to set up Tommy D.  Danielson was unable to shake Van Garderen though and once they topped the climb Teejay sped away with him on the decent, along side Jamis-Hagen's Jainer Acevedo.  Acevedo took the stage and Teejay took the yellow jersey.  Van Garderen now has a 30 second lead over everyone other than his own teammate, Mathias Frank, who's only 4 seconds behind.  Van Garderen has improved from 2 years ago, the last time this time trial course was used, and then he finished 6th, 51 seconds behind Vande Velde (currently more than 2 minutes back) and 18 seconds behind Tommy D, who's now 40 seconds behind Teejay going into tomorrow' time trial.

Short of Teejay falling off his bike or something equally unlikely he will still be the race leader after tomorrow's stage.  With Saturday and Sunday likely to be bunch sprints, Teejay has all but sewn up the race win with today's performance.  Matt Cooke has solidified his lead in the climbers competition, but there's still mountains to get over on Saturday.  Peter Sagan keeps the sprinters jersey but hasn't locked it up, though I'd be shocked if anyone took it.  I wasn't paying attention the last two days as Lachlan Morton had both the yellow and blue (young riders) jersey, not Peter Sagan.  Morton lost the yellow but keeps a 45 second lead int he blue jersey, probably enough to win it.  Team lead stays with BMC.  Michael Rodgers gets today's most aggressive orange jersey.

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