Culture

PYSO, ep. 54: Tejay van Garderen on risk assessment and not taking the joy of racing for granted

Van Garderen skipped the 2016 Olympics because of concern for a virus. So how is he feeling now?

American Tejay van Garderen, twice a fifth place finisher overall and winner of the white jersey at the Tour de France, wishes he had taken more time to appreciate the good times during his career. Whether it was winning the Tour of California, or just having fun rooming with riders like George Hincapie or Taylor Phinney, van Garderen says he took a lot of things for granted.

“I wish I would have savored the moment a little bit more and appreciated it,” he said. “ I always just thought, ‘Okay, I’m here now and I’m gonna go there and that’s a stepping stone. That’s kind of the story of cycling in a nutshell. You never stop to just say, ‘Hey, what I did was pretty cool.’ I wish I had done that a little bit more.”

Van Garderen talks at length on this episode of Put Your Socks On about trying to keep perspective heading into the strange 2020 season.

In 2016, van Garderen skipped the Olympics because of another virus. At the time, his wife Jessica was six months pregnant, and he didn’t want to risk contracting the Zika virus.

Van Garderen also talks about the people who helped get him to where he is today, including a framebuilder in Bozeman, Montana: Carl Strong. “Without him I wouldn’t have been a bike racer,” van Garderen said. “I just I wouldn’t been wouldn’t have been able to afford it.”

Listen now to Put Your Socks On.