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LA TOUSSUIRE-LES SYBELLES, France (VN) — Tejay van Garderen is resting at home in Nice, France, after abandoning the Tour de France with a respiratory problem. At the race, rumors are starting to circulate that he could leave BMC Racing at the end of the year to join Trek Factory Racing. The teams, however, deny such a deal is in place.
The 26-year-old American has a contract that runs through 2016 with BMC Racing. If he left, he would have to find a deal with BMC Racing to annul his contract.
“He’s got a contract,” BMC’s general manager, Jim Ochowicz told VeloNews. “Is he staying? Yeah, sure, 100 percent.”
Van Garderen left the Tour on Wednesday, when he began the Pra-Loup stage third in the overall standings.
Cyclists rarely break contracts to switch teams. The last such major move was when Mark Cavendish left Sky for Omega Pharma after the 2012 season.
BMC Racing could be looking to free its budget with several high-paid riders and new ones reportedly joining like Australian Richie Porte from Team Sky. Ochowicz would not say.
Van Garderen’s agent, Paul de Geyter is shopping his rider around, but for the 2017 season when he would be free to switch. The cyclist wants to see what options are available.
VeloNews reached out to the Belgian agent, who said that van Garderen is not trying to leave BMC early.
“Trek is a U.S. company and Tejay is from the U.S., so for sure there’s interest,” Trek Factory Racing general manager, Luca Guercilena told VeloNews.
“The market is a bit crazy right now. We saw numbers that are not realistic at all, simply too high. Not realistic for the value of the rider, or what you can have from the rider. Right now, certain riders, certain agents, are putting the bar so high that it’s far from realistic.”
“It’s important to have a good American rider because we have an American company, but Trek wants an international team too. The American market is important, but there are other important markets in the world and we need to be realistic.”
Van Garderen turned professional with HTC-Highroad. With BMC, he won the best young rider’s jersey and finished fifth overall twice in the Tour de France. After the Tour grinds to a halt on Sunday, BMC will decide van Garderen’s program for the remainder of 2015.
“We have the U.S. race program with Utah and Colorado and the Vuelta a España, there are spots in both programs, but we need to stop and consider what is best for him,” Ochowicz said.
“He could slot into both of those. We know Rohan Dennis and maybe Pete Stetina will race in the U.S., and Sam Sánchez will participate the Vuelta a España. So far, for Tejay, we only thought as far ahead as the Tour.”