Tejay Van Garderen wins time trial, takes yellow jersey in Tour of California
May 17 2018 06:44 am CET

Tejay Van Garderen wins time trial, takes yellow jersey in Tour of California
Tejay Van Garderen wins time trial, takes yellow jersey in Tour of California
Photo of Tejay Van Garderen © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) has won the 4th stage in the Tour of California. He beat his teammate Patrick Bevin and Team Sky's Tao Geoghegan Hart in an individual time trial between San José and Morgan Hill. Van Garderen took the yellow leader's jersey from Egan Bernal in the process. He now defends a lead of 23 seconds on Bernal.

Juraj Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) was the first rider to roll of the starting ramp and start the 34.7-kilometre long individual time trial from San José to Morgan Hill. The first 16 km were slightly uphill, followed by 18 kilometres slightly downhill.

Even though he was not the first one to start, it was Ruben Companioni (Holowesko-Citadel) who set the first time at the finish. The Cuban's time did not last long, as U23 ITT World Champion Mikkel Bjerg rode more than 3 minutes quicker.

The 19-year-old's time of 41:40 would be the first test for the other favourites. One of the biggest favourites for today, Maciej Bodnar (Bora-hansgrohe) came close, but the Polish winner of last year's Tour de France time trial came in 4 seconds short. Other riders that came short of the young Dane's time were Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott) and Taylor Phinney (EF Education First).

It took another youngster to beat Bjerg's time, as Filippo Ganna needed four seconds less for his time trial. The 21-year-old UAE-Emirates rider was fifth in last year’s time trial and was right on track to improve that result, even though he was still 12 seconds behind after the 16 km split.

The Italian's time did not last too long either, as home rider Lawson Craddock (EF Education First) took another three seconds off the best time: 41:33. In the meantime, Patrick Bevin (BMC) set the fastest time halfway the course. The New Zealander kept his high pace and just like in the Itzulia Basque Country ITT he rode a very strong second part of the course. This resulted in a time that was no less than 39 seconds faster than that of Ganna.

There were not many riders left that could challenge the top time. Bevin's teammate Tejay Van Garderen was the only one coming close at the halfway point. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) in the meantime finished only 25 seconds behind Bevin, good for a second place provisionally.

Van Garderen came in a bit later and impressed with a time that was 7 seconds faster than that of Bevin: 40:47. This was enough for the stage win and the yellow jersey. None of the other GC riders came close to the time of the American. Dani Martinez (EF Education First) was one of the few that managed the damage slightly, where Durasek and Tolhoek dropped out of the top 10.

Egan Bernal lost the yellow jersey, losing 1:23 back to Van Garderen and now trailing 23 seconds in the GC. For Van Garderen this is his first victory this season and the first one since taking stage 18 in last year's Giro.




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