Tejay van Garderen finished second overall at the Tour de San Luis Sunday while the BMC Racing Team won the team classification of the week-long race.
Van Garderen compiled four top 10 finishes – including seventh in the Stage 4 individual time trial – on his way to finishing 33 seconds behind overall winner Ricardo Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos) and six seconds ahead of third-placed Alex Diniz (Funvic-Pindamonhangaba). A top finish overall was not his original goal, van Garderen said. “I was actually thinking I was going to get the stage win in the time trial and I wasn’t that keen for even going for the GC,” he said. “But (Directeur Sportif) John Lelangue and the team really motivated me to get it going. I was actually surprised at how up there I was – and how not up there I was in the time trial. My climbing legs feel really good and being able to gauge myself against some of the other competitors that I’ll be facing when I get to Europe was good. I think I’m stacking up pretty well.”
Lelangue said being recognized for winning the team classification was equally as satisfying as van Garderen’s runner-up finish. “It’s not so often that we win the team GC and we did it with help from two of our new guys: Daniel Oss and Dominik Nerz,” he said. “The idea was to build a team around Tejay with a few classics riders and some climbers working around the leader and going for the GC. This was really good training for them. When you can win the team GC of such a challenging race that has a long time trial, two mountain top finishes, one mountain stage and two sprint stages, it shows you can be regular during seven days.” Daniel Oss (14th) was the BMC Racing Team’s top finisher on the 154.7 kilometer last stage, which was won by Mattia Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli).