Team News: Tour of Oman sees Van Garderen’s debut


BMC’s Tejay van Garderen makes his season debut Tuesday at the Tour of Oman along with a past winner of the race, Peter Velits

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Tour of Oman sees Van Garderen’s debut

Van Garderen has never competed in the six-day race, which was won by Velits in 2012 on the strength of a runner-up finish on the summit of Green Mountain. “I am looking forward to getting back into the groove with the team,” van Garderen said.

“I have trained well in sunny California and I feel like I am starting the season at a good level. I have had a lot less travel and commitments this winter, which allowed me to focus solely on the bike and time with the family.” Van Garderen said his ambitions are straight-forward. “Oman will be a good test,” he said.

“I am coming here to gain fitness and confidence.”

Velits, who began his season by helping Taylor Phinney win the Dubai Tour, said he is looking forward to racing with van Garderen, whom he was a teammate with in 2010 and 2011.

“I am not coming here with any specific ambition,” Velits said. “I just want to do a good race with the team. Dubai showed that the work we did during the winter was good, so I hope this race will confirm it.” Besides Velits and van Garderen, five riders arrive from the Tour of Qatar – Marcus Burghardt, Philippe Gilbert, Martin Kohler, Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet.

They will be joined by Dominik Nerz, who competed at the Tour de San Luis last month. Sport Director Valerio Piva said the BMC Racing Team’s goals will be two-fold. “We have more climbers here because of the profile,” he said. “I think we have more chances with Philippe and Greg, too. So it’s possible we can do something for stages while we still have ambitions for the general classification.”

BMC Racing Team Tour of Oman Roster (Feb. 18-23):
Marcus Burghardt (GER), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Martin Kohler (SUI), Dominik Nerz (GER), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Peter Velits (USA).


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