Tejay van Garderen is no different than any professional cyclist. He welcomes the competitive obstacles inherent in the sport — steep mountain climbs, high-speed descents and pedaling for hours on windy, exposed country roads.
But van Garderen
With other accomplished cyclists in their mid-20s — Taylor Phinney, Peter Stetina and Andrew Talansky, among others — van Garderen is in the awkward spotlight of pedaling to restore the reputation of a sport tarnished by the rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs.
“I’d say we just keep doing what we are doing and hopefully the fans respond to that,” said 24-year-old van Garderen, who rides for Santa Rosa-based BMC and is a favorite in the Tour of California. “Other than that, I really can’t say what more we could do other than what we are already doing. And that is getting results and doing it in an honest way.”
Drug use in cycling isn’t new. But
Nearly a dozen of Armstrong’s former teammates, several of whom will join van Garderen in the Tour of California
A fourth-year pro, van Garderen finished fifth and fourth overall in the Tour of California the past two years. His role as favorite this year is based on his breakthrough in last year’s Tour de France, where he finished fifth and won the best young rider designation.