Tejay Van Garderen Discussion Thread

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I think the public and media attention on TVG might have been too much for him to handle as well. At least on NBC and American cycling news, he was always the most focused on. Even when Talansky was riding well and competing for top 10. Tejay still received more news. That has to be tough mentally, especially when he tried so hard but kept getting sick since his body couldn’t handle it. Than to have 2015 TdF happen after riding so well and being in podium and possibly second place position. His career could have been different if focused on classics like LS said and week stage races with going for GT stage wins.

Sometimes the pressure put on young riders to be the next great of their nation is too much.
 
IMHO I would rank post-Lance American cyclists:
  1. Sepp Kuss - wins stages while being the best domestique on the best team.
  2. Tyler Farrar - did the Schelderprijs-Cyclassics double one year.
  3. Chris Horner - Vuelta!
  4. Van Garderen
Don't forget Talansky. I'd still rank TJ first, and I include Pappy Horner as part of the earlier generation. His best years were also in the US, Vuelta notwithstanding...
 
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PCS ranking is useless. It heavily favours sprinters and stage winners. Viviani is in the All Time Top100 which should be charged as a crime against humanity. Please do not use that BS. Here is a much more accurate ranking: https://www.cyclingranking.com/

Regarding the discussion, Van Garderen could probably be, in overall terms, the best american in the 2010-2020 decade, which is a bit underwhelming. He lacked individual wins in the international field - He is retiring with a Giro stage win, 2 Vuelta Catalunya stages, a Tour de Suisse stage, a bunch of US Domestic races and tons of near misses: Overall, he has 3 podiums at Dauphine, 1 podium at Catalunya and 2xTop5 in TdF.

In GT he was extremely dissapointing. Don't know if it was due to having low endurance / recovery or being unable to cope with pressure.

Horner is undoubtedly the one who got the biggest single achievement, followed by Talansky. Then you could probably slot Van Garderen.
 
4 podiums and 8 top 5s in major 1 week + stage races too. Ok, he didn't win one, but then I think only Talansky did post Leipheimer's great triumph in the 2011 Tour de Suisse.
Imagine the plaudits Porte is going to receive when he retires!

TJ had a very decent career, and I really like his current day honest hard look at himself and subsequent decision. Good luck to him in retirement.
 
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Imagine the plaudits Porte is going to receive when he retires!

TJ had a very decent career, and I really like his current day honest hard look at himself and subsequent decision. Good luck to him in retirement.
I don't think TJ is receiving plaudits, per se (and LRP is clearly a superior rider...), but as an American I cling to any potential cycling star who appears on the scene. For a few years there (2011-2016 or so, with a couple of flashes later), TJ seemed to be that guy, just like Talansky, Dombrowski, McNulty now, Kuss etc.

We have a very checkered history since LeMond...we had 5-6 legit top-flight stars whom we've had to consign to the dustbin of history...
 
PCS ranking is useless. It heavily favours sprinters and stage winners. Viviani is in the All Time Top100 which should be charged as a crime against humanity. Please do not use that BS. Here is a much more accurate ranking: https://www.cyclingranking.com/

Regarding the discussion, Van Garderen could probably be, in overall terms, the best american in the 2010-2020 decade, which is a bit underwhelming. He lacked individual wins in the international field - He is retiring with a Giro stage win, 2 Vuelta Catalunya stages, a Tour de Suisse stage, a bunch of US Domestic races and tons of near misses: Overall, he has 3 podiums at Dauphine, 1 podium at Catalunya and 2xTop5 in TdF.

In GT he was extremely dissapointing. Don't know if it was due to having low endurance / recovery or being unable to cope with pressure.

Horner is undoubtedly the one who got the biggest single achievement, followed by Talansky. Then you could probably slot Van Garderen.
The 'if you don't win its disappointing' thinking is a problem. Two top five TdFs is solid. I know everyone wants to win, but come on.

I agree that he should have changed his focus, or at the very least tired to find a better weigh/power ratio (yes, I meant to put it in that order).

I hope that he has a great life moving forward!
 
The 'if you don't win its disappointing' thinking is a problem. Two top five TdFs is solid. I know everyone wants to win, but come on.

I agree that he should have changed his focus, or at the very least tired to find a better weigh/power ratio (yes, I meant to put it in that order).

I hope that he has a great life moving forward!
That’s a healthy perspective—hope he can feel that way too.
 
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D
So this is it. solid career and he knows it's time to walk away. Is he the most successful post LA American rider ?
Depends on what you consider the post-LA era.

If you consider results post 2005- it’s Van de Velde and Chris Horner. With forfeited results included it’s Leipheimer.

If you discount that entire era and start with riders who debuted after 2010- then you have a case for TJVG, followed closely by Talansky- though I suspect he’ll be surpassed by Sepp shortly.
 
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The 'if you don't win its disappointing' thinking is a problem. Two top five TdFs is solid. I know everyone wants to win, but come on.

I agree that he should have changed his focus, or at the very least tired to find a better weigh/power ratio (yes, I meant to put it in that order).

I hope that he has a great life moving forward!
This for sure. It is the same issue haunting the recent bewilderment over Uran doing a really good ride at Suisse. Uran has been 2nd overall everywhere from the Olympics to the TDF (with three monument podiums) but because of the "if you don't win it's disappointing" mentality, many people are unable to see how very, very good the man is.

I agree with the argument that this problem is magnified in the nations where cycling isn't a major sport and the U.S. is an extreme case. Your average U.S. citizen isn't familiar with anything other than the TDF (with the sort of exception of the Olympic RR) and isn’t impressed with anything short of Lemond/Armstrong domination of the event. Folks in the U.S. underestimate the level of competition in professional cycling (I remember joking several years ago about how if you are known as the recreational cyclist at your workplace, coworkers will ask you, in good faith, if you have considered riding the Tour de France). In the U.S., it is possible for many athletes in sports that are more highly regarded here to be seen as very good, even if they have never won a major championship.

For a couple of years there, I remember Teejay getting enough name recognition for people who do not follow cycling to ask me about him. Anything short of wearing the MJ in Paris was going to doom him as a disappointment.
 
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This for sure. It is the same issue haunting the recent bewilderment over Uran doing a really good ride at Suisse. Uran has been 2nd overall everywhere from the Olympics to the TDF (with three monument podiums) but because of the "if you don't win it's disappointing" mentality, many people are unable to see how very, very good the man is.

I agree with the argument that this problem is magnified in the nations where cycling isn't a major sport and the U.S. is an extreme case. Your average U.S. citizen isn't familiar with anything other than the TDF (with the sort of exception of the Olympic RR) and isn’t impressed with anything short of Lemond/Armstrong domination of the event. Folks in the U.S. underestimate the level of competition in professional cycling (I remember joking several years ago about how if you are known as the recreational cyclist at your workplace, coworkers will ask you, in good faith, if you have considered riding the Tour de France). In the U.S., it is possible for many athletes in sports that are more highly regarded here to be seen as very good, even if they have never won a major championship.

For a couple of years there, I remember Teejay getting enough name recognition for people who do not follow cycling to ask me about him. Anything short of wearing the MJ in Paris was going to doom him as a disappointment.
This is a giant generalization I’m making, so apologies to those in other countries if I don’t know your competitive culture, but I also wonder if the “winning is everything” culture of competition in the U.S,, along with the history of winning big in many disciplines, makes it hard for Americans—even if they followed more than the Tour, to appreciate the accomplishments of riders like TJ. (What a run-on sentence, sorry!) Our mainstream sports don’t have an equivalent of a team saying, “we’re going to compete for the polka dot jersey, not for the overall title,” never mind celebrating a Lantern Rouge!
 
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This is a giant generalization I’m making, so apologies to those in other countries if I don’t know your competitive culture, but I also wonder if the “winning is everything” culture of competition in the U.S,, along with the history of winning big in many disciplines, makes it hard for Americans—even if they followed more than the Tour, to appreciate the accomplishments of riders like TJ. (What a run-on sentence, sorry!) Our mainstream sports don’t have an equivalent of a team saying, “we’re going to compete for the polka dot jersey, not for the overall title,” never mind celebrating a Lantern Rouge!
Maybe we, as cyclists, need to develop a shorthand for what level a cyclist is at.

Lance was batting cleanup for the Yankees/QB for the Pats.
Lemond was a stellar all-round player (classics, Worlds, stage races), who mid-career transitioned to chasing batting titles (ie, yellow jerseys) above all.
Levi/Hampsten was an excellent support player, who played a key role in a championship team but never the real team leader.
Tejay was a talented young quarterback, but ultimately was never going to be a championship winner.
 
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This for sure. It is the same issue haunting the recent bewilderment over Uran doing a really good ride at Suisse. Uran has been 2nd overall everywhere from the Olympics to the TDF (with three monument podiums) but because of the "if you don't win it's disappointing" mentality, many people are unable to see how very, very good the man is.

I agree with the argument that this problem is magnified in the nations where cycling isn't a major sport and the U.S. is an extreme case. Your average U.S. citizen isn't familiar with anything other than the TDF (with the sort of exception of the Olympic RR) and isn’t impressed with anything short of Lemond/Armstrong domination of the event. Folks in the U.S. underestimate the level of competition in professional cycling (I remember joking several years ago about how if you are known as the recreational cyclist at your workplace, coworkers will ask you, in good faith, if you have considered riding the Tour de France). In the U.S., it is possible for many athletes in sports that are more highly regarded here to be seen as very good, even if they have never won a major championship.

For a couple of years there, I remember Teejay getting enough name recognition for people who do not follow cycling to ask me about him. Anything short of wearing the MJ in Paris was going to doom him as a disappointment.
I tried being a pro dirt racer, but it wasn't a good living! I was high 20s low 30s in NORBA National events most of the time so not even a top USA dirt racer. When people would ask me if I could race/win the TdF I would always say "probably, but since there is no single track nor jumps, I'm not interested! :p
 
I have to say it , "good riddens" to this also ran. If he had a proper doctor maybe he would amount to things, but time and time again he was always a follower of the lead pack in big race, and then eventually get dropped. His riding reminds me a lot of Andy Hampsten.
I'd love to know what your great achievements are ?

Tejay was a very talented rider but like most of the peloton he didn't win big for various reason though 2 top 5s in the Tour is a very good achievement in my book. I will put him above Sep Kuss until Kuss does anything to better this . (BTW Kinda of ridiculous of putting Kuss ahead of riders like Van Garderen and Horner but that si the kind of ridiculous bias rubbish you get on here. Not based on facts and results )

Most people on the planet could not even contemplate riding a single stage of the Tour . Its one of the toughest sporting events in the world and of all time

You sound like someone who hasn't a clue
 
These answers are from last summer.

“I ended up in fifth place, so that was just a big shock, I wasn’t expecting that going in. I was able to reconfirm that fifth place with another fifth place in the 2014 Tour, and I don’t know, since then I felt like I needed to break through to that next level,” Van Garderen says. “Now it’s like, podium or actually challenge for the victory rather than follow wheels into a top five or a top 10. And I think I was hellbent: how do I break through to that upper echelon and be considered a serious GC contender, rather than just a follower who can stumble into a high position? I think I had the wrong outlook. I think I should have followed the progression and realized that I was still a young rider and still evolving and stayed on course, rather than trying to force it.”

Were the expectations and pressure too high? “I don’t think it’s fair to blame fans for expecting or media,” Van Garderen says. “I think when I really look back on it I brought a lot of that on myself. When I look back at interviews I did, I was the one saying, ‘Now it’s time for a podium, now it’s time to step up and really compete in these races rather than follow the best guy I can.’ I was putting that burden on my own shoulders.


“That’s the thing about this sport. You can come in as a huge hotshot but you’re always going to get humbled. You come across the rider who’s better at that time, or you can crash or you can get sick; there are so many things. I think it’s good to be confident but I don’t think it was maybe good to project that out into the public the way I did, I should have just stayed quietly confident.”
 
These answers are from last summer.

“I ended up in fifth place, so that was just a big shock, I wasn’t expecting that going in. I was able to reconfirm that fifth place with another fifth place in the 2014 Tour, and I don’t know, since then I felt like I needed to break through to that next level,” Van Garderen says. “Now it’s like, podium or actually challenge for the victory rather than follow wheels into a top five or a top 10. And I think I was hellbent: how do I break through to that upper echelon and be considered a serious GC contender, rather than just a follower who can stumble into a high position? I think I had the wrong outlook. I think I should have followed the progression and realized that I was still a young rider and still evolving and stayed on course, rather than trying to force it.”

Were the expectations and pressure too high? “I don’t think it’s fair to blame fans for expecting or media,” Van Garderen says. “I think when I really look back on it I brought a lot of that on myself. When I look back at interviews I did, I was the one saying, ‘Now it’s time for a podium, now it’s time to step up and really compete in these races rather than follow the best guy I can.’ I was putting that burden on my own shoulders.


“That’s the thing about this sport. You can come in as a huge hotshot but you’re always going to get humbled. You come across the rider who’s better at that time, or you can crash or you can get sick; there are so many things. I think it’s good to be confident but I don’t think it was maybe good to project that out into the public the way I did, I should have just stayed quietly confident.”
That early fifth place in the Tour put a lot of pressure on him and the media kept hyping him even when the results pre Tour were not there. Mentally he seemed to move on a few seasons ago. You could tell the will to win wasn't there as much as it used to be. Richie Porte also talked about being away from his young family for long periods of time and the affect it had on him. He can be happy with his career as much as some other people think he underachieved.
 
The 'if you don't win its disappointing' thinking is a problem. Two top five TdFs is solid. I know everyone wants to win, but come on.

I agree that he should have changed his focus, or at the very least tired to find a better weigh/power ratio (yes, I meant to put it in that order).

I hope that he has a great life moving forward!
It is indeed solid as an overall result, but rather unspectacular (5th in two of the weakest TdF in the decade), while expectations were way higher and his success in week-long races didn't really translate into GT. Van Garderen had a history of crashes, illnesses, fading... that is what makes his result dissapointing.

Richie Porte history in GT is a bit disappointing as well, yet he has been able to crack the TdF podium and has a 5th in 2016. Mathias Frank and Dani Navarro will probably be elated to have finished once in the TdF Top10.
 

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