This year's Tour de France hasn't been kind to Team Garmin, but no one is ready to throw in the argyle towel. A well deserved rest day - complete with Chipotle burritos - provided a day to recover and reflect upon Friday's stage win by David Millar and Monday's impressive showing by Christian Vande Velde, recapped here from the Slipstream blog (click here for a great profile on Christian by Bicycling magazine):
Christian Vande Velde kept the argyle fight up front and center on stage 15, getting into the main breakaway and riding valiantly into the final for second.
Finally the peloton let up on the chase and it was Vande Velde who found himself in a strong group. The six riders quickly built up a significant lead but it wasn’t until late in the stage that the success of the break was ensured.
On the finish stretch Vande Velde played the sprint tactics well but came up short with a final kick.
“I knew my chances were not good at all with Feridgo; he is a quick guy, Vande Velde said.
“I knew I had to do something exceptional to win. I never had a sprint, ever. If it’s not uphill it’s not for me.”
The affable Vande Velde was still happy with his result and the team’s hard work as it enters the final week of the Tour.
“Of course, we’ll keep on trying all the way. If it’s not me someone else for sure. Dave Millar did a lot of work and helped me get up there today.”