BMC Team Reveals Tour de France Roster Centered Around Van Garderen
Team BMC Racing will take part in the 2014 Tour de France with the dual ambitions of securing a top result for Tejay van Garderen in the general classification while fighting for stage victories in selected stages.
The BMC Racing team earlier today unsurprisingly announced Tejay van Garderen will be its leader in this year's Tour de France. Three riders who helped Cadel Evans win the 2011 Tour de France for Team BMC Racing and fought for him in last year's Tour – Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard and Michael Schär – will be joined by Tour de France veterans Daniel Oss, Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Velits at the start line of the Tour de France 2014.
Darwin Atapuma and Peter Stetina are first-time participants in the three-week, 21-stage Grand Tour that begins July 5 with three stages in Great Britain and covers 3,664 kilometers before concluding July 27 in Paris, France.
Van Garderen will be making his fourth Tour de France start with a personal best of finishing fifth in the general classification in 2012 while winning the best young rider classification. A runner-up finish at the Tour of Oman and stage win at the Volta a Catalunya were highlights of his pre-Tour campaign this season.
However, sickness forced his withdrawal from Paris-Nice and a crash in the prologue of the Tour de Romandie led to a small fracture to his hip. "I don't think the setbacks are going to have any effect on how the Tour de France is going to be raced," van Garderen explained. "The bottom line is you can come back from just about anything if you have put in the work in the winter. I have trained hard and have a solid base and solid foundation of training. It's just a matter of not having any bad luck."
Choosing the BMC team's final line-up for the 2014 Tour was the culmination of a nearly year-long process. "We go to the Tour de France with an experienced team that has helped guide a past winner," BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained. "So we feel confident we have the right mix of people on the starting line. We go there not as favorites, but as contenders, and we expect to animate the race from time to time, as we have done in the past."
The team's sporting manager Allan Peiper explained the goals for forming a solid team around van Garderen are two-fold. "We put together a well-balanced team of climbers and helpers to support Tejay van Garderen in all terrain and, at the same time, we want to be able to try for stage wins on specific days," Peiper said.
Yvon Ledanois, who will serve as the team's chief sport director in the Tour, said he witnessed strong bonding and teamwork at this year's Critérium du Dauphiné Libere, where six of the nine chosen riders for the Tour rode together. "We have a team of high quality riders with experience who can get victories and do good work for their leader," he said. "We also have a good staff in place to give us strength and energy."
BMC Racing Team roster for the Tour de France 2014:
Tejay van Garderen (USA), Peter Stetina (USA), Peter Velits (SVK), Darwin Atapuma (COL), Marcus Burghardt