Van Garderen still dream­ing of grand tour glory

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ORTISEI: Amer­i­can Te­jay Van Garderen said he won’t give up his dream of win­ning a grand tour af­ter break­ing his three­week race duck with vic­tory on a thrilling 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thurs­day.

Once touted as the lat­est Tour de France con­tender out of the United States, Van Garderen’s hopes of chal­leng­ing for the Giro’s pink jer­sey in the race’s 100th edi­tion hit the skids in the open­ing week when he suf­fered “a cou­ple of bad days.”

It left pun­dits ques­tion­ing whether the 28-year-old, a for­mer key team­mate of Cadel Evans when the re­tired Aus­tralian was still fight­ing for Tour de France hon­ours, still had the stom­ach for the for­mi­da­ble chal­lenge of fight­ing for vic­tory over three tough weeks of bike rac­ing. But af­ter beat­ing Span­ish ri­val Mikel Landa in a down­hill sprint to win a climb-heavy 18th stage in the Ital­ian Dolomites, the ‘Zen War­rior’ — as laid-back Van Garderen is known — said his hunger is still alive.

“Luck­ily, I didn’t crash and I’m de­lighted I took my first Grand Tour stage win here,” he added.

“How­ever, I’m not giv­ing up on rid­ing Grand Tours for GC (gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion). Things might change in get­ting full sup­port of the team.”

Van Garderen’s win moved the Amer­i­can up to 21st place, but at nearly 40 min­utes be­hind leader Dutch­man Tom Du­moulin, who leads 2014 cham­pion Nairo Quin­tana by 31 sec­onds, he won’t be chal­leng­ing for over­all hon­ours this year.


Te­jay Van Garderen won the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thurs­day.

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