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Tejay van Garderen - Absolutely pleased
Jul 22nd, 12. BMC Racing Team's Tejay Van Garderen will wear the white jersey of Tour's Best Young Rider into Paris tomorrow - an honour he said he is "absolutely pleased" about.
The American solified his place as best young rider, and his 5th overall placing after finishing 8th in the 53.5km time trial - and passing his team leader on route to the finish line.
Van Garderen started 3min behind Cadel Evans, but the two pulled even with each with roughly 20km to go.
The 23 year old said it was not a "passing of the torch" moment.
"I still think he (Evans) has another Tour win in him next year and I'd be happy to help him," he said.
"I was really surprised [to pass him today]. It is not a normal ride by Cadel. You saw last year he was almost winning the final time trial, so it's not the fact that I was flying out there, it was that Cadel was having a bit of an off day."
Van Garderen said he was spurred on by thoughts of people affected by the shootings at a movie theater Friday in Aurora, Colorado.
"I want to dedicate this to all the people who lost their lives in Colorado with the shooting there," he said.
"That was devastating news. That was close to my home in Boulder and I just want to say my thoughts are with them and I'll be thinking of them when I get to Paris tomorrow."
As for his own Tour, the rookie said, "I am absolutely pleased, I am over the moon with how this Tour has gone and I think that it's a solid foundation for the future and yeah, hopefully I can build from here.
"Once you do this, you start looking at little one percent gains that you can make in training and race program and I think now it's about the time to start thinking about ok, where can I get a little edge to get a little better to get a little closer to Bradley.
"I have definitely been getting a lot of feedback a lot of encouragement from back home, you know, its great, overwhelming, and hopefully I can just build on from this and come back stronger next year.
Riding alongside the defending champion has given Van Garderen great experience, which he also hopes to build on in the coming seasons.
"I have learnt tonnes. It's been monumental, he is a big champion with tonnes of knowledge, and I have tried to soak it all in."
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