BMC Racing's Tejay van Garderen had set his sights on a top finish at Paris-Nice, but after slipping from fourth overall to 16th during Saturday's cold, wet stage to Nice, he was only able to manage 20th place during Sunday's final time trial up Col d'Eze.
Van Garderen finished 1:18 behind stage winner and overall Paris-Nice champion Richie Porte (Team Sky) on Sunday. He was 5:41 behind Porte in the general classification for 16th place. World road champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step) was runner-up overall, and Simon Spilak (Team Katusha) finished third.
It was a disappointing result for the 26-year-old American who finished fifth in the Tour de France for the second time last year. But van Garderen said it wasn't time to panic as he continues his preparation for another run at the French Grand Tour's podium this July.
“I came in here with really good form and I had high hopes and it all kind of unraveled after yesterday,” van Garderen said, referring to the nearly five minutes he lost to stage 6 winner Tony Gallopin and other GC favorites on the roads from Vence to Nice.
Van Garderen said after Saturday's stage that he was hoping to redeem his week with a good performance in the time trial, but a top performance on Sunday also wasn't in the cards this week.
“Today I was hoping to salvage a good ride and I gave it a shot, but the legs just were not responding,” he said. “I don't think it is anything to panic about. I know I have good form and I am going to try and carry that into the next two stage races that I have coming up in Spain and just move forward and go from there.”
Van Garderen is heading for the Volta a Catalunya and Pais Vasco before getting his feet wet in the Classics at Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
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