The young American Tejay Van Garderen will get his first taste of the Tour de France next month. The HTC-Highroad rider will be at the Grand Départ on the Vendée July 2, sources tell VeloNews.
“Tejay will be there,” said one source who asked not to be named because the team’s roster has not yet been announced. “He was told that he would be at the Tour barring any unforeseen mishaps.”
An HTC spokesperson would not confirm Van Garderen’s selection and said that, “the team has not been selected yet. We will announce next week.”
A longtime Rabobank prospect in the Dutch squad’s Continental program, Van Garderen broke through at the sport’s top level with a podium finish in the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné. He finished his first grand tour, the Vuelta a España, in August and held a top-10 GC spot until a stomach bug hit him in the third week.
In February Van Garderen finished second overall to teammate Tony Martin at the Volta ao Algarve. He entered the Amgen Tour of California as a favorite and ended up fifth overall. Van Garderen is currently contesting the Tour de Suisse where he finished second to Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) in the prologue and fourth in Wednesday’s stage 5 uphill sprint won by Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil-DCM). He sits fifth overall, 1:21 down on leader Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD).
In his first Tour de France, it is likely that Van Garderen will support Martin as the team’s GC leader and enjoy the freedom to go with the moves in the mountains.
Van Garderen was not immediately available to comment.