Tejay Van Garderen is one of the best cyclists in the world, rank he earned with brilliant performances, such as the Tour de France 2012, in which he finished fifth overall and was the Best Young rider.
Van Garderen has grown steadily since its debut in Rabobank, always working for others and learning the trade alongside great veterans like Hincapie, Evans and Hushovd, as he has, but reaching adulthood, is in front of his best years, and must demonstrate his qualities, especially in the mountains and against the clock, to be a Tour de France contender in the coming years.
In this interview you will have the chance to hear the views of this solid American rider on the Tour de San Luis, his goals for the season, what needs improvement, and it mission in he clearly has to help Cadel Evans in the Tour France 2013
How´s season going so far?wich are your upcoming objectives and races?
I am doing the Vuelta al País Vasco this coming week, but only to test where I am right now. My next big race is the Amgen Tour of California, which I would like to win. And then the lead-up races to the Tour de France, either the Tour de Suisse or the Critérium du Dauphiné.
We saw you very strong in San Luis…how was your trip round here?did you like it?
It went well. I had never been to Argentina, so it was nice to experience that. The travel was long, coming from Europe and our team presentation, but it’s long for everybody. I was real pleased with my result there.
What kind of things should the SanLuis organizers improve for next year?
I didn’t see it myself, but everyone was telling me the TV coverage was not very good. Since that’s the way the majority of people got to see the race, if the TV coverage is subpar, then the race comes off looking bad – even if everything about for the people who are there is good. The USA Pro Challenge had a similar problem the past two years.
You once said that you were going to help Evans but not going to wait if he had a problem…what that supposed to mean?are you going to help each other or not?
Of course I will be helping him at the Tour de France. He’s the leader of the team and is a past winner. I didn’t say I wouldn’t wait if he had a problem. What I said was I’m not going to hit my brakes after helping him on the climbs. I will have my own chances for good finishes, but my No. 1 job is helping him in the mountains first.
Tour de France is your main goal …how can you do it in 2013 edition?can you improve on what you did last year?your opinion about the 2013 edition..(Contador, Schleck, Froome, etc,..to many strong guys will be there)
I know I have to improve on my time trialing and my climbing. Those are the two areas where I lost time in last year’s Tour. So I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on my climbing in the offseason and I did a wind tunnel testing session in North Carolina over the winter as well. As for the competition in the Tour, I only know about my own preparation. I can’t speak to what other riders are doing or how well prepared they will be coming to the race.
Who´s your role model as a cyclist?who´s the best now?
I really don’t have a role model. But I can tell you some of the veterans on the BMC Racing Team the past few years – guys like George Hincapie, Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd – they have all helped me and passed along good advice.
What do you think about this new generation of american riders (you, Talansky, Phinney,etc)…?are you friends?till when can you arrive?
A lot of us came up through the junior ranks together, so of course we know each other and have competed with and against each other for several years. It’s a good time to be an American cyclist and with performances like you saw at Paris-Nice, there’s no doubt American cyclists will be getting results in the big races for years to come because we’re all pretty young guys.
Your good in climbing, ITT…wich is your weakness?can you improve in something else?
You’re always looking to improve in all areas. I already mentioned how I have to improve my climbing and time trialing. We also hired a nutritionist this year and she (Judith Haudum) has been helping us with our diet at the races. Every little bit helps.
Only one can win the Tour…are you going to race any of the toher Grand Tours?wich other objective do you have?
Right now, the plan is for me to help Cadel Evans at the Tour de France. One of my other favorite races – the USA Pro Challenge, which is in my home state of Colorado, is always an objective for me. And it’s in direct conflict with the Vuelta a España. And the Giro d’Italia directly conflicts with the Amgen Tour of California. So my own goal races have kept me from doing other grand tours.