GREENVILLE, South Carolina (VN) — It’s been a fantastic year for Tejay van Garderen.
The 24-year-old BMC Racing rider finished fifth overall at the 2012 Tour de France and won the best young rider’s jersey, a prize he can compete for again next year. At home he finished fourth at the Amgen Tour of California and won stage 2 of Colorado’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge en route to finishing second overall.
It was a season to be proud of — and one that van Garderen is hoping to build upon going into 2013, a year that holds opportunities at home and abroad.
VeloNews sat down with van Garderen in Greenville after he rode the George Hincapie Gran Fondo. He was headed home to Colorado after the 2013 Tour presentation in Paris and stopped in Hincapie’s hometown to support his former teammate.
When van Garderen is introduced, the phrase “the future of American racing” is often used, and for good reason. However, that club also includes several other young riders.
“The future of American cycling looks strong and it has been looking strong for a long time,” said van Garderen. “We got a crop of young Americans coming up: me, (Andrew) Talansky, (Taylor) Phinney, (Joe) Dombrowski and Larry Warbasse, who we just signed for BMC,” said van Garderen.
“Hopefully we’re giving the fans another 10 years of excitement of watching the Tour now that some of the older-generation guys are on their way out.”
The veterans are not all gone yet — BMC has already announced that 35-year-old Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour champion, will be the team’s sole leader next year. However, after this strong season van Garderen will have his chances, too.
“Cadel and I are on separate programs for most of the year so I will have plenty of chances to step into a leadership role in a number of races: Paris-Nice, Pays Basque, Amgen Tour of California, Colorado. Those
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