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Van Garderen experiences Worlds

By Gregor Brown in Varese, Italy

America's Tejay Van Garderen closed out his fourth World Championships in Thursday's Under-23 road race. Two days after his 42nd place in the time trial, Van Garderen formed part of the five-man national team for the 173.35-kilometre race.

"There were attacks all the time and we were trying to follow moves. I went with that one break that was bridging up. I wish it could have gone further," said Van Garderen to Cyclingnews.

The move did not succeed and Van Garderen settled into a group that contained teammates Chad Beyer and Peter Stetina. The group finished 33 seconds back from winner, Colombian Fabio Duarte.

"The legs are a little flat after a long season. Usually, at this time of the year, I am completely dead and after the time trial, I thought it was the same case. I am glad I was able to finish the races and follow the moves. The US team here does not have a lot of pressure. We proved in l'Avenir we are the main team to contend with, but that is in stage races and we've never really proven ourselves in one-day races."

Van Garderen won stage nine and finished eighth overall in France's Tour de l'Avenir earlier this month.

Van Garderen was pleased to be in Varese even if his team did not medal. "The World Championship you have to do as many times as you can to get your experience. I try to play it down and not get nervous. I have done it twice as the juniors and twice in the under-23 category."

He travels to Spain before closing out his season. "I hope to stay for Sunday and watch the men's race."