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Tejay van Garderen joins EF-Drapac from BMC Racing

Joe Robinson
7 Aug 2018

American joins home team after six seasons with BMC Racing

Tejay van Garderen has announced that he will leave BMC Racing to join EF-Drapac from the 2019 season. The American has spent the previous seven seasons with BMC but is now looking for a 'fresh environment, fresh faces, some new ideas' as he moves across to what he calls 'America's team'.

The 29-year-old has struggled in recent seasons as he moved away from being a General Classification rider to the role of super-domestique. 

Despite two top-five placings at the Tour de France, van Garderen has recalibrated his approach to racing, something that he believes will help his new team.

'I’m certainly not a young rider anymore, but I’m still way too young to be put out to pasture, he said.

'I’ve had some good results, some ups and downs, and I’m still interested in exploring the capacity of what I have to give, however that translates.

'Whether it’s helping a teammate or grabbing results for myself. Whether it’s Grand Tours or one-week stage races. I still think there’s a lot more I can offer.'

Van Garderen broke onto the scene by finishing fifth and winning the white young rider's jersey at the 2012 Tour de France at the age of 23.

He then followed this up with another fifth place in 2014 Tour. 

It long looked like van Garderen would be the newest American GC hope but his progress began to falter in 2015. After losing the Criterium du Dauphine on the final stage, van Garderen then withdrew from the Tour with illness on Stage 17 despite being third on GC.

BMC then announced the signature of Richie Porte for the 2016 season with the Australian assuming the role of Tour de France leader from van Garderen.

The American rode in support of Porte in 2016 who eventually finished fifth overall.

After riding the Giro d'Italia in 2017 instead of the Tour, van Garderen returned to France this season again supporting Porte.

Once Porte had crashed out on Stage 9, the American was given team leadership but could only manage 32nd overall.

Van Garderen has struggled to hone in on his speciality the older he has got, but EF-Drapac team manager Jonathan Vaughters believes he can flourish again with this change of team.

'This is a new chapter. Maybe even a new book. Tejay exhibited incredible potential in his younger years,' Vaughters said.

'He’s been riding under very high pressure for years as he was pegged as America’s next great cyclist. That’s been tough billing to live up to, and it would have been for anyone.

'I think we can get the best out of him using an approach that gets him back to thinking about bike racing as fun as opposed to shouldering the weight of being the next great hope in American cycling.'