Tejay van Garderen Gets Scrappy

Tejay van Garderen’s tumbling crash during Thursday’s sixth stage of Vuelta a España was almost expected. Van Garderen had ridden himself into contention in a grand tour, his legs look strong and when Contador and Froome took off, van Garderen was there. Our hopes were high. It was time for Tejay to implode. Then, sure enough, van Garderen somersaulted across the road. There was the Tejay we know.

What came next, hwoever, was unexpected. Van Garderen got back on his bike and took off like a missile. He fought tooth and nail and gave chase. Within minutes the gap to the GC guys was closing. He swapped for a fresh bike and then crashed again, slamming into a concrete curb. The crash looked painful and potentially tour ending.

But then he got up again. By the finish line, van Garderen had given up just 17 seconds to the big guys. Two gnarly crashes and just 17 seconds. Van Garderen found his fight today. I like this new version of Tejay van Garderen, he’s got some real panache. I hope he sticks around.

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