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Tour de France tactics dish up bittersweet day for BMC

Stage 2 of the Tour de France from Utrecht to Zelande was a bittersweet day for BMC Racing, with Tejay van Garderen gaining time on a number of his rivals but overnight race leader Rohan Dennis slipping out of the yellow jersey.

Van Garderen and the bulk of his team were present and accounted for when the peloton split in the crosswinds, while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) both lost 1:28 by the time they crossed the line behind stage winner Andre Greipel. Dennis was unable to make the front group and BMC were caught in two minds as to whether they should press on or wait for Dennis, ultimately deciding that the pursuit of van Garderen’s GC ambitions were paramount.

“Like I said in my press conference, no news is good news so we weren’t looking to gain time. We just weren’t looking to lose time. At the time we were just focusing on the wheels in front of us and we weren’t really paying attention to who was behind,’ van Garderen said of the moment the race split.

“We just wanted to stay safe and at the front. It just so happened that a lot of leaders were caught out.”

“it was a tough call as we had all our guys there. All we were missing was Rohan. For a while we weren’t riding but then gap moved out and we realised that we could put a lot of time into the GC guys. At the end it was the right call. I feel bad for Rohan and wish he was in that move with us.”

“A lot can happen," he said. "Seconds turn to minutes in the mountains so you can never be too high or too low. Today was a good day for us on GC but you have to just stay calm and stay focused for the next day."

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Daniel Benson
Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.