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BOURG-EN-BRESSE, France (VN) — Tejay van Garderen leaned against his bike, seeking shade under the BMC Racing team bus awning, staying cool before the inevitable battle of Thursday’s hilly stage across the Massif Central.
Staying cool has been the mantra for van Garderen so far through this Tour de France. As rivals such as Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) have flamed out, the BMC captain has safely navigated the choppy waters of the turbulent first half of the Tour.
He’s had his first share of bumps and close calls, including four crashes in the opening week, but van Garderen pedals toward the decisive climbing stages with everything still in play and is 3:56 behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) through stage 12.
With the Alps looming, and the real battle in the mountains about to begin with back-to-back summit finales Friday and Saturday, van Garderen is ready to see how far he can go in this Tour. VeloNews caught up with van Garderen before the start of Thursday’s stage.
VN: You’ve survived the first half of the Tour. Are you satisfied where you are right now midway through the Tour?
TVG: It hasn’t gone perfect, but it could have been a lot worse, when you look at guys like Talansky, Froome, and Contador. There are still a couple of ‘what ifs’ out there, but you have to put that out of your mind, and keep looking forward.
VN: Behind Nibali, the top-10 is still very tight. How do you see the race developing in the coming days?
TVG: Now that we’re into the double-digit stages, it’s always like that in a grand tour, you start seeing guys crack one by one. You saw that yesterday with [Rui] Costa. Tomorrow, getting into the mountains, we’re going to see more people to fall out of there.
VN: You prefer the longer climbs of the Alps compared to what we’ve seen so far through the Vosges?
TVG: The longer, steadier climbs suit me better than the short, punchy stuff. I think we’ve survived the most hectic part of the Tour, now it’s a matter of fitness.
VN: How are your legs?
TVG: All things considered, I am feeling pretty good.
VN: Now that the Tour is heading into the Alps, the peloton will be able to see Nibali’s true colors. What do you expect?
TVG: I am not sure what other teams’ tactics will be. Astana might show a few chinks in their armor, but they’re looking pretty strong. They have a good team for the mountains. They’ll probably try to keep it controlled as much as they can.
VN: How will the absence of Contador and Tinkoff-Saxo to control and attack the pack change the race?
TVG: I don’t know. I think you’ll see a lot of aggressive riding from Richie Porte, from [Alejandro] Valverde, and those three French guys who are up there. They’re all looking really strong. It might make it harder for Astana not to have a helping hand, but we’ll still see some exciting racing.
VN: At this point, are you thinking podium, or do you think you could win this thing?
TVG: I am looking to not do anything stupid, take it day by day. I think we’ll see some people crack, and I think if I can stay strong, I can have a really high finish in Paris.
The post Q&A: Van Garderen optimistic for ‘high finish in Paris’ appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- 1. Alexander KRISTOFF, Katusha, in 4:32:11
- 2. Peter SAGAN, Cannondale, at :00
- 3. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ.fr, at :00
- 4. Michael ALBASINI, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
- 5. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, Garmin-Sharp, at :00
- 6. Matteo TRENTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 7. Daniele BENNATI, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :00
- 8. Bryan COQUARD, Europcar, at :00
- 9. Daniel OSS, BMC Racing, at :00
- 10. Samuel DUMOULIN, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :00
- 11. Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL, Movistar, at :00
- 12. Romain FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :00
- 13. Armindo FONSECA, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :00
- 14. John DEGENKOLB, Giant-Shimano, at :00
- 15. Jurgen ROELANDTS, Lotto-Belisol, at :00
- 16. Bauke MOLLEMA, Belkin, at :00
- 17. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 18. Heinrich HAUSSLER, IAM Cycling, at :00
- 19. Cyril LEMOINE, Cofidis, at :00
- 20. Anthony DELAPLACE, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :00
- 21. Richie PORTE, Sky, at :00
- 22. Christopher HORNER, Lampre-Merida, at :00
- 23. Simon GERRANS, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
- 24. Ben GASTAUER, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :00
- 25. Vincenzo NIBALI, Astana, at :00
- 26. Geraint THOMAS, Sky, at :00
- 27. Brice FEILLU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :00
- 28. Bram TANKINK, Belkin, at :00
- 29. Alexander PORSEV, Katusha, at :00
- 30. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at :00
- 31. Jakob FUGLSANG, Astana, at :00
- 32. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Sky, at :00
- 33. Elia VIVIANI, Cannondale, at :00
- 34. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at :00
- 35. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at :00
- 36. Jean-Christophe PERAUD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :00
- 37. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ.fr, at :00
- 38. Bernhard EISEL, Sky, at :00
- 39. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at :00
- 40. Romain BARDET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :00
- 41. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, Belkin, at :00
- 42. Laurens TEN DAM, Belkin, at :00
- 43. Leopold KONIG, NetApp-Endura, at :00
- 44. Paul VOSS, NetApp-Endura, at :00
- 45. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Trek Factory Racing, at :00
- 46. Jean-Marc BIDEAU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :00
- 47. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at :00
- 48. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, Lampre-Merida, at :00
- 49. Frank SCHLECK, Trek Factory Racing, at :00
- 50. Jérôme PINEAU, IAM Cycling, at :00
- 51. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at :00
- 52. Peter VELITS, BMC Racing, at :00
- 53. Peter STETINA, BMC Racing, at :00
- 54. Cyril GAUTIER, Europcar, at :00
- 55. Jens KEUKELEIRE, Orica-GreenEdge, at :00
- 56. Yukiya ARASHIRO, Europcar, at :00
- 57. Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU, Trek Factory Racing, at :00
- 58. Sébastien REICHENBACH, IAM Cycling, at :00
- 59. Tony MARTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :00
- 60. Jérémy ROY, FDJ.fr, at :00
- 61. Michael SCHÄR, BMC Racing, at :16
- 62. Koen DE KORT, Giant-Shimano, at :20
- 63. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at :20
- 64. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ.fr, at :24
- 65. Andriy GRIVKO, Astana, at :25
- 66. Michael MORKOV, Tinkoff-Saxo, at :31
- 67. Kévin REZA, Europcar, at :41
- 68. Florian GUILLOU, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at :41
- 69. Roy CURVERS, Giant-Shimano, at :41
- 70. Giovanni VISCONTI, Movistar, at :45
- 71. Fabio SABATINI, Cannondale, at :45
- 72. Kristijan KOREN, Cannondale, at :45
- 73. Jan BAKELANTS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :52
- 74. Luca PAOLINI, Katusha, at 1:12
- 75. Marco MARCATO, Cannondale, at 1:16
- 76. Benoit JARRIER, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 1:20
- 77. Michal GOLAS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:34
- 78. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 1:34
- 79. Maciej BODNAR, Cannondale, at 1:34
- 80. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, Cofidis, at 1:34
- 81. Cédric PINEAU, FDJ.fr, at 1:34
- 82. Arnold JEANNESSON, FDJ.fr, at 1:34
- 83. Benjamin KING, Garmin-Sharp, at 1:34
- 84. Michael ROGERS, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 1:34
- 85. Mikael CHEREL, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1:34
- 86. Christian MEIER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 1:34
- 87. Tom DUMOULIN, Giant-Shimano, at 1:34
- 88. Rudy MOLARD, Cofidis, at 1:34
- 89. Marcel SIEBERG, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:34
- 90. Niki TERPSTRA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:39
- 91. Gatis SMUKULIS, Katusha, at 2:06
- 92. Jan BARTA, NetApp-Endura, at 2:06
- 93. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, Cofidis, at 2:24
- 94. Arnaud GERARD, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 2:24
- 95. Thomas VOECKLER, Europcar, at 2:24
- 96. Marcel WYSS, IAM Cycling, at 2:24
- 97. Martin ELMIGER, IAM Cycling, at 2:24
- 98. Lars Ytting BAK, Lotto-Belisol, at 2:24
- 99. Lieuwe WESTRA, Astana, at 2:24
- 100. Imanol ERVITI, Movistar, at 2:24
- 101. Ruben PLAZA MOLINA, Movistar, at 2:24
- 102. John GADRET, Movistar, at 2:24
- 103. Kristijan DURASEK, Lampre-Merida, at 2:24
- 104. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, IAM Cycling, at 2:24
- 105. Julien SIMON, Cofidis, at 2:24
- 106. Sébastien MINARD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:24
- 107. Johan VAN SUMMEREN, Garmin-Sharp, at 2:24
- 108. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 2:24
- 109. Maarten WYNANTS, Belkin, at 2:24
- 110. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC Racing, at 2:24
- 111. Lars BOOM, Belkin, at 2:24
- 112. Zakkari DEMPSTER, NetApp-Endura, at 2:24
- 113. Andreas SCHILLINGER, NetApp-Endura, at 2:24
- 114. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:24
- 115. Matteo TOSATTO, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:24
- 116. Alessandro PETACCHI, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 2:24
- 117. Amaël MOINARD, BMC Racing, at 2:24
- 118. Vasil KIRYIENKA, Sky, at 2:24
- 119. Nicolas ROCHE, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2:24
- 120. Simon YATES, Orica-GreenEdge, at 2:24
- 121. Svein TUFT, Orica-GreenEdge, at 2:24
- 122. Matteo MONTAGUTI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:24
- 123. Perrig QUEMENEUR, Europcar, at 2:53
- 124. Vladimir ISAICHEV, Katusha, at 3:29
- 125. Bartosz HUZARSKI, NetApp-Endura, at 4:01
- 126. Tom Jelte SLAGTER, Garmin-Sharp, at 4:01
- 127. Simon SPILAK, Katusha, at 4:01
- 128. Sylvain CHAVANEL, IAM Cycling, at 4:44
- 129. Sep VANMARCKE, Belkin, at 4:53
- 130. Adrien PETIT, Cofidis, at 5:11
- 131. Rafal MAJKA, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 5:40
- 132. David LOPEZ GARCIA, Sky, at 5:45
- 133. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at 5:45
- 134. Rafael VALLS FERRI, Lampre-Merida, at 5:45
- 135. José Joao PIMENTA COSTA MENDES, NetApp-Endura, at 5:45
- 136. Nicolas EDET, Cofidis, at 5:45
- 137. Biel KADRI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 5:45
- 138. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ.fr, at 5:45
- 139. Tony GALLOPIN, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:45
- 140. André GREIPEL, Lotto-Belisol, at 5:58
- 141. Simon CLARKE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 6:23
- 142. Dries DEVENYNS, Giant-Shimano, at 7:09
- 143. Jack BAUER, Garmin-Sharp, at 7:14
- 144. Roger KLUGE, IAM Cycling, at 7:14
- 145. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Movistar, at 7:14
- 146. Rein TAARAMAE, Cofidis, at 7:14
- 147. Albert TIMMER, Giant-Shimano, at 7:14
- 148. Jens VOIGT, Trek Factory Racing, at 10:12
- 149. Marcel KITTEL, Giant-Shimano, at 10:12
- 150. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 10:12
- 151. Tiago MACHADO, NetApp-Endura, at 10:12
- 152. Mark RENSHAW, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 10:12
- 153. Luke DURBRIDGE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 10:12
- 154. Alex HOWES, Garmin-Sharp, at 10:12
- 155. Alessandro VANOTTI, Astana, at 10:12
- 156. Tom VEELERS, Giant-Shimano, at 10:12
- 157. Janier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, Garmin-Sharp, at 10:12
- 158. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC Racing, at 10:12
- 159. Grégory RAST, Trek Factory Racing, at 10:12
- 160. Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, Lampre-Merida, at 10:12
- 161. Matthew BUSCHE, Trek Factory Racing, at 10:12
- 162. Danny PATE, Sky, at 10:12
- 163. William BONNET, FDJ.fr, at 10:12
- 164. Thomas LEEZER, Belkin, at 10:12
- 165. Benat INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Movistar, at 10:12
- 166. Davide CIMOLAI, Lampre-Merida, at 10:12
- 167. Sebastian LANGEVELD, Garmin-Sharp, at 10:12
- 168. Maxim IGLINSKY, Astana, at 10:12
- 169. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, Astana, at 10:12
- 170. Michele SCARPONI, Astana, at 10:12
- 171. Jean Marc MARINO, Cannondale, at 10:12
- 172. Yohann GENE, Europcar, at 10:12
- 173. Florian VACHON, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, at 10:12
- 174. Alexandre PICHOT, Europcar, at 10:12
- 175. Arthur VICHOT, FDJ.fr, at 12:04
- 176. Christophe RIBLON, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 12:04
- 177. Cheng JI, Giant-Shimano, at 12:04
- DNS Andrew TALANSKY, Garmin-Sharp
- DNF David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, NetApp-Endura
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won stage 12 at the Tour de France on Thursday.
Kristoff out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Cannondale) to win the 185.5km stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne. Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) took third.
Kristoff was led out by teammate Luca Paolini, and when Paolini pulled off with a few hundred meters left, Kristoff clung to the wheels of Matteo Trentin and another Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider. With about 150 meters remaining, Kristoff swung around to the right and sprinted to the finish line.
Sagan, whose teammates formed a perfect leadout train with 3.5km left in the stage, got caught behind several riders in the final kilometer and had to climb his way back near the front. He put in a huge effort trying to out-sprint Kristoff but he came up just short.
“It’s a great feeling, I’ve been dreaming about this since [I was] a child,” Kristoff said afterward. “Luca did a great job to keep me up front, I was just sitting on Trentin the last 500 meters. I saw [John] Degenkolb start, so I decided to start. For sure there will be champagne tonight.”
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) kept his overall lead, holding a 2:23 advantage over Richie Porte (Sky) and a 2:47 buffer over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
After a handful of failed attacks, a five-man breakaway group formed 10km into the stage. Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp) was the first man to go, and he was joined by Gregory Rast (Trek Factory Racing), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura), and Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Séché).
The fivesome worked together and shared pulling duties throughout their time in front, and at one point the peloton gave them a leash of about 5:00. Giant-Shimano was leading the main pack and gave up the reins to Europcar with 70km remaining.
Meanwhile, de la Cruz crashed around a right turn with about 94km left in the stage. He was holding his right shoulder and was immediately tended to by medical personnel. He abandoned the race.
“This is my first Tour de France. Some friends of mine like Purito [Joaquim Rodriguez] and Juan Antonio Flecha told me to forget everything I’ve experienced before. They were right,” de la Cruz told letour.com before the stage. “I’m living the most extraordinary moment of my life. I was targeting the polka dot jersey but Purito is too strong. We arrive on a terrain that I like. I aim at breaking away and I’d like to shine at Pla d’Adet close to my home.”
As the peloton picked up more speed, the gap to the escapees continued to shrink. It was down to around 2:30 with 55km left, at which point Vachon fell back. He was swallowed up by the peloton 3km later. Rast also slowed at that point, and he dropped back to the peloton with 42.5km remaining in the stage.
Langeveld and Clarke held a steady 2:00 gap on the peloton with 33km left. On the slopes of the Cat. 4 Cote de Grammond (9.8km, 2.9 percent average), Langeveld accelerated and broke away from Clarke. He summited the climb first and was in the lead with 21.5km left. But two Europcar riders — Perrig Quémeneur and Cyril Gautier — who attacked the peloton earlier reached Clarke shortly after the summit. The trio flew down the road, taking the sweeping turns at the proper angles as they tried to stave off the peloton.
The main field, however, was fast approaching on the quick descent. There was just 20 seconds of real estate between the two groups with 10km left, at which point Quémeneur ran out of steam and dropped back. With Giant-Shimano and Lotto-Belisol leading the way, the peloton caught the remaining two escapees with just over 5km left.
From that point, it was a high-speed race to the finish.
The race picks up with Friday’s stage 13, a 197.5km route from Saint-Étienne to Chamrousse that ends in an HC climb of Montée de Chamrousse.
The post Kristoff sprints to stage 12 victory at Tour France appeared first on VeloNews.com.
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