Tejay van Garderen was looking forward to Sunday’s queen stage at Tirreno-Adriatico, confident that he could have challenged for victory and taken the race lead. Fortunately, thanks to BMC’s victory in the opening team time trial and some consistent riding in the other stages, van Garderen still has a shot at victory.
He is currently only nine seconds behind race leader Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) with only Monday’s rolling stage to Cepagatti and then the likely decisive final 10.1km time trial on the San Benedetto del Tronto seafront on Tuesday. His BMC teammates Damiano Caruso and Greg van Avermaet are also at nine seconds, with Bob Jungels (Trek-Segafredo) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) possible threats at 11 seconds in the overall standings.
Van Garderen praised the decision to protect the riders’ safety and cancel the stage to Monte San Vicino on Sunday but regretted losing the opportunity to show his form and try to set up overall victory on the 10km climb to the finish.
“It’s definitely good that people are looking out for us and that we’re not forced to re-enact another Stelvio style day,” van Garderen said via the BMC team.
“But from a sporting point of view, I’m really disappointed. I’ve worked really hard and think that given the chance to show what I could have faired really on the climb, I‘d have faired really well. But safety first and health needs to come first. If there’s a metre of snow it’s just not possible.”
Van Garderen is an excellent time trialist. He is determined to still try to win Tirreno-Adriatico and is now wary of Monday’s rolling stage to Cepagatti.
“Monday’s stages isn’t easy either,” he warned. “Now the climb is gone, people are going to race Monday a bit more aggressively. We definitely still have our work cut out but we definitely still want to win this Tirreno-Adriatico.”
Click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.