Van Garderen and the Vuelta. Mucho questions.

Tejay — up or down?

Has grand tour rider Tejay van Garderen simply disappeared? He flamed out in the 2016 Tour de France and then the Vuelta a Espana and was replaced as BMC Tour leader by Richie Porte. He did a reset and decided to focus on the 2017 Giro d’Italic with hopes of a high GC finish. He ended in 20th, 57 minutes behind the winner Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb). He sat out France this year and now is on the start list for the Vuelta.

We’re wondering what the expectation and goals are now after the roof of the house has fallen in and the first floor has collapsed into a large sink hole. There seems to be no news about Van Garderen coming out of BMC. Is he riding for GC, stage wins, support for Rohan Dennis? Is he carrying bottles, doing some sightseeing, playing Mr Invisible? We have no idea — there’s a cone of silence over the BMC concerning Tejay.

Maybe it’s simply a case of everything having been said already. We’re past the questioning, the talk of new training plans or returning to old training plans or fresh goals or dealing with mystery ailments and bad luck and legs that simply don’t turn as fast as they used to back when Van Garderen was the Next Big Thing in American Stage Racing.

Is he on an up, a down, a sideways? Should we be guardedly optimistic or enthusiastically pessimistic? Is the Van Garderen glass half empty or half full? Will the Cycling Gods raise him back up to the highest heights or are we witnessing a slow fade out? Did all those days letting the disgraced Lance Armstrong motorpace him in Colorado form a massive cloud of bad karma?

That’s enough questions to keep us busy until the start of the Helta Skelta Vuelta on August 19th in Nimes, France. Hello, BMC, what’s the plan, fellas?

God knows, we’re pulling for poor Tejay to somehow, someway, climb back up to the top of the sport, regain his place in the select group of “serious challengers.” He’s a nice guy, a hard-working guy, he’s earnest and honest and when the mood suits him, he’s funny, too. As role models go, he’s pretty darn solid. It would be nice for pro cycling in America if Tejay hit a stretch of good luck and positive results. By golly he was top five twice in Le Grand Shindig.

Back in May at the Giro d’Italia,┬áVan Garderen claimed his first Grand Tour victory on a tough mountain stage in the Dolomites. He out-sprinted badass Mikel Landa of Sky to the line and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot was a few second further back. Read those Giro tea leaves — will Van Garderen be up there with Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Romain Bardet and Alberto Contador? Is he poised for something good or is another disappointment just around the corner?



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2 Responses to “Van Garderen and the Vuelta. Mucho questions.”

  1. Good questions. Could he replace Bob Rolle in the commentators both? Talansky could make surevhis mic doesn’t scratch..

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