BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen (Tacoma, Wash.) rocketed to a decisive stage victory and the overall race lead at the Amgen Tour of California individual time trial in San Jose / Morgan Hill today.
Van Garderen began the day in 8th place overall, exactly one minute behind the race leader Egan Bernal, Team Sky’s 21-year-old Columbian rider. Van Garderen, who picked up two Grand Tour stage wins in 2017 at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España (Time Trial stage), made up that minute and more on the 21.6-mile loop, causing the Amgen Race Leader Jersey to change hands to the third owner since the race began on Sunday and extending his lead 23 seconds over Bernal, now second in the overall standings.
“Today was special motivation… I had my girls here, I had memories here from five years ago. I didn’t expect it to go quite this well but I kind of had it in the back of my mind on Gibraltar if I can keep it to within a minute, I can maybe take it today. Today was going to be my big power play, and I’m glad I was able to produce one. It feels great,” said van Garderen, who won the 2013 Amgen Tour of California and the Time Trial stage that year.
In the final three race days this week, BMC Racing Team will have to fend off challengers to the yellow jersey, which van Garderen has his sights set on retaining: “We really just need to worry about that stage into Tahoe, but we have a really strong team, and the motivation’s going to be high and if you’re going to want to beat me, you’re going to have to go to the bitter end.”
1. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) in 40’47’’
2. Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing Team) at 7’’
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) at 32’’
1. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)
2. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) at 23’’
3. Daniel Martinez (Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale) at 37’’
Photo: Amgen Tour of California