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Van Garderen: I’m glad to have that stage behind me

Tejay van Garderen described the Tour de France stage into Sheffield as “brutal” and “crazy”, but said that finishing with all the other yellow jersey contenders showed that he’s in very good condition after battling back from the effects of his crash at the Tour of Romandy in late April.

“It was slow going getting back into racing at the Dauphiné, but I really feel I’m coming into the Tour with all systems go,” said van Garderen.

The American said he was glad to have got through the day “with all my skin and in the same time [as my rivals].” He explained: “The entire stage was crazy with the fans and with just how technical and narrow the roads were. I’m glad to have that day behind me. It was brutal, just brutal.”

He admitted he knew what he was in for having done a recce of the stage. “It was an attritional day – man, it was hard!” he said. “I’m just happy to make it through, but my legs are pretty empty right now.”

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).