Tejay Van Garderen is still relishing his milestone podium spot at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné.
Van Garderen hung tough up the decisive summit finish on Alpe d’Huez on Saturday to defend his podium spot and then finished strong Sunday in a challenging circuit course over the 1980 world championship route to cement third place overall.
“I was expecting to get maybe a top ten or top 15 overall because I was carrying good form from the Tour of California,” Van Garderen said in a team release. “So I stayed motivated from May onwards, but I was really surprised and pleased to get on the podium. I mean, look at the guys I was standing next to! If you had told me that was going to happen before the race I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Van Garderen said that it was only half way through the eight-day stage race that he had begun to think that a high placing overall was a possibility.
“After the mid-week time trial I was sitting in second place by a good margin, and it looked like I was climbing better than some of the other GC guys. The first summit finish (on stage 4) wasn’t so good, I didn’t feel snappy and I was a little timid. But I came through OK and got through the other stages well. It’s definitely the high point of my career so far.”
Previously scheduled to do the Tour of Austria, Van Garderen is now set to take part in the Vuelta á Espana in August.
“The team said I should get a good rest and not even touch the bike for a week. But after that, I’ll start thinking about the Vuelta.”