Van Garderen: ‘Froome beatable’

Tejay van Garderen seeks a measure of redemption at the Vuelta and believes he'll have his chance to take on Tour champ Froome.

Photo: TDW

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ALCALÁ DE GUADAÍRA, Spain (VN) — Chris Froome is not immune to bad luck and is not always above his rivals. Team Sky’s captain won the Tour de France for a second time last month, but American Tejay van Garderen believes that he too can have his turn despite having to abandon the French grand tour while third overall.

BMC Racing’s Van Garderen is racing the Spanish grand tour, the Vuelta a España, this month. The race, which started Saturday on the Costa del Sol in the south, is due to head into the mountains soon. It could be van Garderen’s chance for redemption.

“Everyone is human, everyone is beatable,” van Garderen told VeloNews. “Am I capable of beating Froome? Hopefully, down the line, I think so. In three weeks’ time? We’ll see. I don’t know.”

The 27-year-old, who calls Aspen, Colorado home, said that stage 7 on Friday should tell much about who can win this year’s Vuelta. The race finishes with a climb to 5,135 feet at La Alpujarra.

He had his chance to take on Froome in the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. He held the lead for two days and lost it only on the last day, placing second overall behind the Brit.

At the Tour, he was forced to abandon in the third week with a respiratory infection midway through the Pra-Loup stage. He had started the stage third overall.

“That’s how it goes with any races. The reality is to have something go right for three weeks in a row is almost impossible, you have to take it how it comes,” van Garderen continued.

“There’s other years, there’ll be other chances, you look at Froome and [Alberto] Contador, they both crashed out last year.

“Every year, a handful of Tour contenders get their share of bad luck, that’s just how it happens. You just have to keep trying.

“All you can do is control the things in your control. Froome is having a good run now. That run may end; I don’t think it’ll end anything soon, but he’s not immune to bad luck.”

Thursday’s stage ends with a small kicker in Sierra de Cazorla, a short climb to 3,051 feet. La Alpujarra, Friday, is the one that is marked in van Garderen’s planner as the Vuelta’s first big appointment.

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