The American will be looking to put in a strong performance after a quieter past few seasons – certainly compared to earlier in his career, when he twice finished fifth at the Tour de France, in 2012 and 2014, and twice won the USA Pro Challenge, in 2013 and 2014.
BMC team manager Jim Ochowicz, speaking to Cyclingnews at the team’s training camp in Calpe, Spain, at the end of last year, has predicted a better season from the 29-year-old in 2018.
“I’ll tell you this right now: Tejay will win a WorldTour stage race before we get to the Tour de France,” Ochowicz said. “He will. He’s got a responsibility to live up to that position. I think we’re on a new track to fix things.”
Van Garderen’s 2018 goals include riding 100 per cent in the service of Australian Richie Porte at this summer’s Tour, where Porte will be hoping to improve on his 5th place in 2016, having crashed out last year.
But first, van Garderen is being given the opportunity to recreate his successes in California five years ago, starting with the opening stage in Long Beach this Sunday.
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