Team is "the right mix" says Ochowicz
The BMC Racing Team announced its final selection for the 2014 Tour de France, naming an experienced group of riders intended to help American Tejay van Garderen fight for the overall classification.
Darwin Atapuma, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard, Daniel Oss, Michael Schär, Peter Stetina, Greg Van Avermaet, and Peter Velits will support the American, but general manager Jim Ochowicz admits they will not go into the race as contenders, not favourites.
"We go to the Tour de France with an experienced team that has helped guide a past winner," Ochowicz said, having enjoyed the victory of Cadel Evans in 2011. "So we feel confident we have the right mix of people on the starting line. We go there not as favorites, but as contenders, and we expect to animate the race from time to time, as we have done in the past."
Van Garderen began the season well, with a second place finish in the Tour of Oman and a stage win in the Volta a Catalunya, but has struggled to follow up those results after a crash in the Tour de Romandie prologue left him with a fractured hip. He came around toward the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné, finishing the stage to Courchevel in sixth, and ended the race 13th overall.
Allan Peiper, the team's sporting manager, said stage wins were a goal in addition to the general classification. "We put together a well-balanced team of climbers and helpers to support Tejay on all terrain and, at the same time, we want to be able to try for stage wins on specific days," Peiper said.
Van Garderen said prior to the Dauphiné that he did not think his injuries and illnesses would affect his Tour de France, and is relying on his off-season training to provide him the foundation he needs to build a good result.
"The bottom line is you can come back from just about anything if you have put in the work in the winter," he said. "I have trained hard and have a solid base and solid foundation of training. It's just a matter of not having any bad luck."
BMC for the Tour de France: Darwin Atapuma, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard, Daniel Oss, Michael Schär, Peter Stetina, Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Velits and Tejay van Garderen.
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