Tejay was just stronger, says Australian
Michael Rogers (Saxo - Tinkoff) returned to the Tour of California for the first time since his 2010 overall victory, finishing in second place on GC behind winner, Tejay van Garderen (BMC).
Rogers completed the eight-stage tour, 1:47 back on van Garderen in an impressive performance capped by four top-10 finishes.
"Surely, I'm very happy about this result. I'm satisfied with my condition and the team performance here," Rogers said in Santa Rosa.
The 33-year-old paid tribute to van Garderen who collected his first overall victory in his career, joining Rogers as the sixth rider on the Tour of California honour roll. A 42 second gap had separated the pair heading into the Stage 6 individual time trial before van Garderen put in a crushing performance to not only win the stage but extend his lead over Rogers who finished fourth on the day.
"Tejay was just stronger which he demonstrated on the time trial," Rogers explained.
Rogers' results in California have been by far his best of the 2013 season, his first under the Saxo - Tinkoff banner after leaving Team Sky. Admitting to Cyclingnews before the race that he was starting to feel as if he was heading towards full-health after a less-than-optimal recovery from a tonsillectomy last October in a bid to solve his well-documented health problems of the past few years, Rogers appears to be headed in the right direction.
"I didn't have the best start of the season but this result confirms that I'm on the right track to where I want to be. Hopefully, I can take my condition up a notch before the next big goal of the season," he concluded with the Tour de France the next big race on his agenda, with Saxo - Tinkoff likely to send a GC-focussed squad in support of Alberto Contador.