The American came into the Dauphiné with high expectations after a strong start to the season and along with a win in the team time trial on stage 3, he battled valiantly with the best climbers. However, in Team Sky's Chris Froome, he found a rival who simply had too much and for two consecutive days van Garderen was left trailing by the eventual winner.
"Every race you go to you want to shoot for the top," he said in a team statement.
Earlier in the race van Garderen announced that he would target the Tour de France podium this year, having finished fifth in last year’s race after a dogged display in the final week. He now heads towards the Tour with a decent guage on how he sits against his rivals, including Froome, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
"I am certainly happy with second place and I am really happy with how I am stacking up to all of my Tour rivals. I think it is a good sign for July. But right now it is hurting a little bit. But sometimes that is a good thing.”
Van Garderen had lost the Dauphiné lead on stage 6 but regained it on the penultimate day. However, Froome won back to back stages over the final two days of the race so secured his second Dauphiné title.
Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said he was pleased with how the BMC Racing Team twice rallied around its leader: first on Saturday to help van Garderen regain the lead and again on Sunday.
"When you have the jersey the last day, you hope you can deliver the victory," Ledanois said. "If you had asked us before the race about finishing second overall and winning a stage and having the jersey, we would have been pleased with those results. The good thing is that we know Tejay gave 200 per cent. The stronger rider today was Froome."