Tejay Van Garderen may be the best all-around rider the United States has seen since Lance Armstrong. At 25 he has two top 5 finishes at the Tour de France and he does it with a balanced set of skills. He is good climber, powerful time trialist and he’s strong on the flats, making him a tough rider for his competitors to crack.
This 2014 Tour was a bit a struggle for him and his team. After going through several crashes in the first week, including one on the extremely difficult stage 5 cobbles, he encountered sickness going into the first rest day. Everything seemed to be under control until mid-way through the Alpes; he bonked. Not eating enough on the rest day he conceding over three minutes to his closest rivals. But he stopped the hemorrhaging and rode strong the final week ultimately clawing back one place in the final time trial to 5th place overall.
With his strong 2014 Tour de France performance Tejay not only proved that his 5th place in 2012 finish was no fluke, but also that he could handle the pressure of team leadership and adversity. Look for him to be a podium favorite in 2015 and maybe, just maybe, a Tour de France victory is in his future.