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ORTISEI, Italy (VN) — Just days after doubting his grand tour credentials, Tejay van Garderen discovered his breakaway legs.
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The American, who saw his GC hopes at the Giro d’Italia fade in a pair of key setbacks in the second week, is aiming to take something positive out of the race.
Van Garderen rode into the winning breakaway in Wednesday’s stage and was on the attack early in Thursday’s five-climb 18th stage across the Dolomites.
“Tejay did well,” said BMC Racing sport director Max Sciandri. “He showed that the condition is there, and it was a good day out there for him.”
Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) won Wednesday’s stage with an attack that came with just under 8 kilometers to go. He said he gave up on his GC ambitions to focus on stage victories. That’s a tactic that van Garderen is picking up, at least for the remainder of the 2017 Giro.
“I wouldn’t say I had in my mind [to attack]. Every day is an opportunity, you just gotta try,” van Garderen said Wednesday. “I was marking moves to help Fran [Ventoso] to try for a sprint, and then I heard he got dropped. … In the end, we came up a little bit short, but it was good to be up there.”
On Thursday, BMC’s Joey Rosskopf attacked early on the lower flanks of the Passo Pordoi. Later, as more riders bridged across, van Garderen and Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac) joined the move in a 19-rider group that led by 2:30 on the second of five climbs.