- Published: Saturday, 26 July 2014 18:56
- Written by Jamie Naragon
Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team avoided a pile-up near the finish of a rainy stage of the Tour de France Friday to remain sixth overall heading into Saturday's individual time trial.
Van Avermaet Not Hurt
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) soloed to the victory seven seconds ahead of a group of chasers decimated by the crash less than three kilometers from the finish of the 208.5-km race. Van Garderen crossed the finish line nearly a minute later in a small group that included teammates Daniel Oss and Peter Velits, as well as race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team). But because the pile-up of nearly two dozen riders happened inside the final three kilometers, van Garderen and the peloton were awarded the same finish time as runner-up John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano). Greg Van Avermaet was the only BMC Racing Team rider involved in the crash. "I was just behind and it was impossible to avoid," he said. "I have nothing. (No injuries.) I just went over it. It was a pretty good. So I will be good for the next days."
Time Trial Outlook
Van Garderen said he will take a singular approach into Saturday's 56 km time trial. "Pacing – you can't go out too hard, you can't go out too easy," he said. "Pacing is everything." With two days of the race to go, he is 11:34 off the overall lead and 2:07 back from the rider ahead of him in the standings, fifth-placed Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale). Sport Director Valerio Piva said the team did its job to get van Garderen into position to make a final move in the standings. "It was a difficult day with the rain and wind," he said. "But the team stayed the entire time around Tejay. In the final, it was tricky, but our guys were in the front. Now is the time trial and we have hope."
Listen to complete comments from Piva, Van Avermaet (in English, Flemish and French) and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team's Tour de France Audio Line:
Lars Seier Christensen, CEO of Saxo Bank, and team owner Oleg Tinkov met the press on top of Hautacam arm in arm after Rafal Majka had secured his mountain jersey. Saxo Bank passed on the main sponsorship title to Tinkoff Credit System for this season but both men wish to continue the collaboration.
Lars Seier was onboard the team bus before the start of the stage to Hautacam, where he shared his thoughts about sponsoring one of the top teams in cycling.
“A sponsorship like this doesn’t get old. We reach a global audience by supporting a team that uses cutting edge technology just like the resources we have at Saxo Bank. The team keeps evolving but the fundamental approach stay the same, says Lars Seier Christensen.
According to Lars Seier, Saxo Bank shares many of the same philosophies as the team – among them the combination of teamwork and strong individuals.
“Bjarne has 5 sporting philosophies and when we started sponsoring the team I talked to Jens Voigt. He told me that he had never been on a team that used a set of principals actively. I told him that Saxo Bank actually had 7 principals. He said ‘ohh no, don’t tell Bjarne, then he’ll make 3 new ones to beat you”, laughs Lars Seier Christensen and continues:
“I think the team has shown that their principals work. It was easy to give up after Contador crashed but the discipline and spirit of the entire team has turned a big setback into a very memorable Tour de France. This is something I notice and I believe that the three wins and a very likely polka dot jersey in Paris bear witness to some very strong principals that are essential to our sponsorship”.
Lars Seier tells, that the relationship between the main sponsors of a team is important to ensure stability in the long run.
“The relationship between Saxo Bank and Tinkov Credit Systems is, just as I hoped, really beneficial. Oleg is a unique personality and I can see how much he wants his riders to succeed. He’s always very excited at the finish line. We’ve been on the bike together a few times together with our families, which I really enjoyed. It’s no secret that he would like us to continue as title sponsor. We’re still working on the final details but we definitely intend to stay with the team”, concludes Lars Seier Christensen.