American Tejay van Garderen will get another shot at a grand tour this season after a disappointing run at the Tour de France in July. He’ll be one of BMC Racing’s two designated leaders at the Vuelta a Espãna, similar to how the outfit raced the Tour.
“Both Samuel Sánchez and Tejay van Garderen will be protected riders in our team at the Vuelta a Espãna with Samuel as our main general classification rider,” said BMC sport director Valerio Piva. “Tejay will be focused on stage victories for the first part of the race, and then we will evaluate how everyone is racing, but the team will be built around these two riders.”
With only one, moderately short individual time trial, stage 19, the Vuelta is expected to live up to its reputation as a climbers’ tour. As such, it might be more favorable for Sánchez, who finished on the final Vuelta podium in 2007 and 2009. Van Garderen finished 34th in his first Vuelta, in 2010, and did not finish the 2015 edition of the race.
“I’m looking forward to racing the Vuelta a Espãna,” the American said. “Completing two grand tours in one year is something I haven’t done, and will be a good step in my development. I’m excited for the team time trial [stage 1] as it gives us a good chance to take the jersey. Then I will take the race as it comes and look for opportunities when they present themselves.”
The race starts August 20 and finishes September 11 in Madrid.
BMC Racing Vuelta a Espãna long list:
Darwin Atapuma (Col)
Silvan Dillier (Swi)
Jempy Drucker (Lux)
Philippe Gilbert (B)
Ben Hermans (B)
Taylor Phinney (USA)
Samuel Sánchez (Sp)
Dylan Teuns (B)
Tejay van Garderen (USA)
Danilo Wyss (Swi)