Porte, Dennis confirmed for BMC at Vuelta; van Garderen not on roster
BMC announced its roster for the Vuelta a España this week, confirming that Richie Porte will lead the squad in Spain after his early exit from the 2018 Tour de France.
The team will also feature Rohan Dennis, making his second grand tour start of the season after the Giro d’Italia, where he won a stage.
One marquee rider not on the start list, however, is Tejay van Garderen, who had been planning to make the Vuelta start for BMC as early as this spring at the Amgen Tour of California.
The 30-year-old American told VeloNews this week that he had decided to shift his focus for the rest of the season after the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, where where he won the prologue but then dropped out of the GC top 10.
“It was my decision,” he wrote in a text message. “After the Tour and Utah I didn’t think I would be able to be 100% fit for the Vuelta. So instead I’m focusing on the world championships, in particular the two time trials, assuming I get selected.”
The team also characterized the change of plans as a joint decision. BMC’s roster for Spain will not be without American representation, however. Brent Bookwalter and national time trial champion Joey Rosskopf both made the cut for the team. Nicolas Roche, Alessandro De Marchi, Dylan Teuns, and Francisco Ventoso complete the Vuelta selection for BMC.
The team — which is set to merge with CCC Sprandi Polkowice next year — will target the general classification with Porte, currently the oddsmakers’ overall favorite for the race. The Australian tempered expectations via the team press release.
“Of course, I would like to do well in my last Grand Tour for BMC Racing Team but you never know where your form is when you haven’t had an ideal run into a race,” he said. “After crashing out of the Tour de France, I had to have some time off and it took me a while to get back to work due to my injuries. I have put in some good training since then but I won’t be lining up in the shape I was in before the Tour de France.”