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TJ's Tour and Future

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Old 07-30-18, 06:00 AM
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TJ's Tour and Future

My guess is TJ Van Garderen has to be really disappointed with this years Tour results.

This was the closest he has ever been to yellow, but he just fell short to Van Avermat on a technicality and was then stuck behind him for those first 9 stages. Then came the disastrous cobble stage when Porte goes down and out and TJ really has a shot at GC leader for BMC, but he also had a terrible day and went down and had numerous mechanicals. He never recovered. Had TJ gotten yellow instead of Van Avermat, could his Tour, and even his career, gone different?

And what about his future? Its said that Porte is leaving the team, so would that make TJ #1 again or would BMC sign another GC contender?

And what about BMC themselves? They may be gone if the don't find a sponsor. So who, if anyone, would pick up TJ and for what role? He needs to be more that a TTT specialist. Do you think any team believes that TJ can win a Grand Tour?

A lot of questions for TJ and even for American cycling.
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Old 07-30-18, 06:13 AM
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From BMC:
The future of Continuum Sports, currently operating as BMC Racing Team, was confirmed on the first rest day of the Tour de France with the news that Polish shoe and bag company CCC will become title sponsor in 2019.
From Cycling Weekly:
Tejay van Garderen, fifth twice in the Tour de France, could be heading home to EF Education First-Drapac. After suffering in recent years, it is unsure if he would race for the classification in Grand Tours or help riders like Michael Woods.
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Old 07-30-18, 06:45 AM
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I'm a big fan of Tejay's and I hope he wins the Tour of Utah.
​​​​​​As far as grand tours go he simply lacks the talent of the top guys.....especially on tough climbs. I'm guessing he never makes the podium of a grand tour.
​​​​​
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Old 07-30-18, 07:12 AM
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EF Education could be a good fit for TJ.

BMC never struck me as an American team. Only a couple of American riders and based in Switzerland, so coming home to a true American team with more American teammates and based in Colorado can only help his psyche. And besides Uran, he could be the focus on that team. BMC signing Porte was a death blow to TJ.

American cycling still needs TJ to be successful, so lets hope he finds himself.
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Old 07-30-18, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006 View Post
I'm a big fan of Tejay's and I hope he wins the Tour of Utah.
​​​​​​As far as grand tours go he simply lacks the talent of the top guys.....especially on tough climbs. I'm guessing he never makes the podium of a grand tour.
​​​​​
It's sobering to realize just how great a cyclist someone can be and yet not be great enough.
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Old 07-30-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
It's sobering to realize just how great a cyclist someone can be and yet not be great enough.
Excellent description .....
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Old 07-30-18, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
It's sobering to realize just how great a cyclist someone can be and yet not be great enough.
yah. i think tejay is hereby relegated to super domestique status for the gt's and probably given free reign for the one week tours like the atoc, tour de suisse, etc...
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Old 07-31-18, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
yah. i think tejay is hereby relegated to super domestique status for the gt's and probably given free reign for the one week tours like the atoc, tour de suisse, etc...
I fear you are correct.

According to interviews, TJ was happy to play domestique to Porte in both Tour De Swisse and the TDF. He said he liked riding with less pressure on him. Now maybe he was just putting a good face on his bad situation of playing second fiddle, but it might also be the truth, which would say that he's not a team leader.

Either way, its a tough day for American cycling because we still need him to be relevant. We don't really need another domestique, do we.
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Old 07-31-18, 06:08 AM
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What I look at is how much pressure American cycling fans put on Tejay. We "need" him to do whatever ... and I am sure he wants to be the next Top American GT Rider and all .... but he just isn't.

When he crashed and mechanicaled and whatever repeatedly to put himself out of contention at the Tour, I was disappointed ... yet at the same time I expected it, and think in a way he almost welcomed the disasters. I think he knew he would ultimately fail anyway, so failing fast was the best solution for him.

Then it occurred to me how "disappointed" I was .... Why? not for him ... for me, as an American cycling fan. Even though I knew he doesn't have the stamina to do a Grand Tour at the highest level ... i wanted him to try, even knowing he would fail.

The guy is a great one-week stage racer, but for some reason i keep wanting more ... even though I have known for years it wasn't there. I have known for years, i think, that he wasn't even going to be a good domestique ... three-week races are just beyond him. He is not built for that.

Why can't I just accept him as he is?

And why can't the rest of the American fan base? "We don't need another domestique." We don't need Any domestiques, because we aren't on bike-racing teams. What that phrase means is "We want another Lance to come along, but to ride clean, and beat all those other riders legitimately while wearing the Red, White, and Blue." Basically, unless you are a Lawson Craddock and finish the Tour with broken bones ... you aren't good enough. And if Lawson Craddock ends up being a domestique ... I bet we diss him, too.

Oddly, I didn't see the same pressure on Taylor Phinney ... but a little bit on Tyler Farrar, for not being the "Great American Sprinter."

I feel bad for Tejay ... because I am sure he also had dreams of being the next U.S. GT sensation, and knows he will never realize them ... and because I have never fully accepted him as he is. And it seems I am like a lot fans in that respect.
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Old 07-31-18, 08:39 AM
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Well, TJ came out of the gates really hard in his early career giving us every indication that he would be competitive in the GTS. TJ himself did not do much to dissuade us from thinking this way. I think he believed he was going to be that competitive grand tour rider. And that's really all we wanted him to be, competitive. So it's only natural, I think, for all of us to be disappointed including himself the things have not worked out.

Maybe if they're were other American Riders that were competitive in the grand tours, there would not have been all this pressure on TJ. As for Phinney, I think he is an enigma. Nobody seems to know what to make of him and his career path was never very defined. And that terrible accident took a lot of pressure off of him because nobody expected too much out of him after it.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:09 AM
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He won a mountain stage in last year's Giro. Lots of riders go through their careers without winning a stage in a GT. He's a winner in my books.
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Old 07-31-18, 11:08 AM
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I think the pressure to be the next great american rider is probably a lot to bear. But with that said, I wonder if there are others coming up in the ranks? Some of us have been looking at Brandon McNulty, currently riding for Rally Cycling, and hoping a little, but my impression is that he doesn't want that pressure and is just having a blast riding for a pro continental team, rather than a world team.
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Old 07-31-18, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I think the pressure to be the next great american rider is probably a lot to bear. But with that said, I wonder if there are others coming up in the ranks? Some of us have been looking at Brandon McNulty, currently riding for Rally Cycling, and hoping a little, but my impression is that he doesn't want that pressure and is just having a blast riding for a pro continental team, rather than a world team.
I think perhaps even more important than a single superstar American rider, is having a full team of American riders in the mold of the old 7-Eleven team.

The way it is now with just a few American riders sprinkled among all the teams, it's hard for them to make an impact as they are mostly relegated to domestique rolls. It's even hard for them to get any air time. We need to be more in the Movistar, FDJ or Cofidis mold, where riders from the sponsors home country dominate the team. Its much more relatable for fans.

I think it would be a boon for American fans. It might bring back the American flags along the TDF routes, which at one time were nearly as numerous as French flags. They are now a rare sight. It would give us a focal point to root for and get behind.

Could it happen? Is this what American cycling needs?
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Old 07-31-18, 02:56 PM
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Tejay is just not built for the GT type races! Year after year of crashes, being dropped, and I think mental fatigue! Hopefully he settles in with the Education First team next year, and does well in Co and Utah !
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Old 07-31-18, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
It's sobering to realize just how great a cyclist someone can be and yet not be great enough.
Describes most sports.
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Old 07-31-18, 06:47 PM
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I think TeeJays best years were 2012-2014. He doesn't seem as strong as he was back then. Still a dominate rider but he will struggle to be in the top 10 of any of the GT's. I feel he can be a great stage racer and better in the one week races where he can excel. I like him, I just didn't put my eggs in his basket.
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Old 07-31-18, 07:27 PM
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TJ almost winning the double Alpe d'Huez stage was one of the most exciting stages I have ever seen. Grand Tours are hard. Tha'ts all.
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Old 08-07-18, 10:46 PM
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Confirmed this morning that TJ will be heading to EF. I spoke with him after Stage 2 today at TOU, and he is pretty excited about the move.

We will see if the move will kick things loose for him, I think he has more to give but there has to be some changes.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Vegasclimber View Post
Confirmed this morning that TJ will be heading to EF. I spoke with him after Stage 2 today at TOU, and he is pretty excited about the move.

We will see if the move will kick things loose for him, I think he has more to give but there has to be some changes.
Thanks for the info.

Good news IMHO. He definitely needs a change and this should be a good one. I also think he has something left in the tank, so lets hope he can make something happen on this truly American team.
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Old 08-09-18, 08:49 AM
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Great win for Tejay in the prologue at the TOU but I fear after watching the third stage he will falter on the climbs to come.
SPOILER........
He slipped from yellow to third Wed.
Still, I like the guy and will cheer him on.
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Old 08-09-18, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006 View Post
Great win for Tejay in the prologue at the TOU but I fear after watching the third stage he will falter on the climbs to come.
SPOILER........
He slipped from yellow to third Wed.
Still, I like the guy and will cheer him on.
Been watching him myself.

He did not look to bad on that climb in the 3rd stage, which was a very tough one, and to be fair, he was alone and under constant attack most of the time. He could only answer so many times. But I would like to see him do well here, because the competition is not TDF level. Then again, is he going 100% here, or is it merely training for the Veulta?
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Old 08-09-18, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
Been watching him myself.

He did not look to bad on that climb in the 3rd stage, which was a very tough one, and to be fair, he was alone and under constant attack most of the time. He could only answer so many times. But I would like to see him do well here, because the competition is not TDF level. Then again, is he going 100% here, or is it merely training for the Veulta?
I don't think he looked bad, just didn't look as good as perhaps he should have.
I'm guessing he's in Utah to win.
That TdF, TOU, and Vuelta is going to be tough.....I'd assume. Best of luck to him.
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Old 08-09-18, 09:32 AM
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The "Is Tejay done" threads are later than usual this year.
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Old 08-09-18, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
The "Is Tejay done" threads are later than usual this year.
I don't think Tejay is done. Far from it. I just don't think he's good enough to podium at a grand tour.
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Old 08-09-18, 04:53 PM
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I was a little disappointed with tejay's performance .... because i think he is going to burn himslef out again. i don;'t see how he can do the Tour, then expect to ---as @Giacomo 1 pointed out--cover so many attacks on a tough climb on a hot day and still stay in top form. I worry that he will toast himslef trying to win Utah, and then really burn out during the Vuelta.

But i guess it doesn't matter because he will be with EF Drpapc next season, so if he cannot come through for BMC in the Vuelta .... who cares?

I just want him to get enough rest to have some fun and come back strong in the shorter stage races next season.
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