Thor Hushovd will race for the first time since July 13 when he starts the Tour de San Luis. (Fitzalan Crowe photo.)

Tour de San Luis Offers Formidable Start

16.01.2013, Santa Rosa, California

BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd and Tejay van Garderen said they will take similar approaches to their season-opening races when they start the Tour de San Luis Monday in Argentina.

Van Garderen Eyes Time Trial
Van Garderen, best young rider at last year's Tour de France, said the combination of warm weather, a 19.2-kilometer time trial and several challenging mountain stages is a good way to ease into the season. "I'll definitely go full gas in the time trial," he said, "but really this is more to get some racing kilometers in the legs. I'll just stay relaxed and safe and get some good training out of it." Hushovd raced fewer than three dozen times last year due to a virus and muscle inflammation.  The former world road champion said he is also anxious to test himself. "First I would like to get back to race speed since I haven't been racing for half a year," he said. "Also, now I'm motivated and hungry to compete and having the start number on my back. So I would like to get a result if I have the form."

Impressive Field
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said a high level of competition will be a good way to gauge early-season form. "There's an impressive field, with Alberto Contador, Joaquím Rodríguez, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan – even Mark Cavendish for the sprints," Lelangue said. "So already there are expectations on the general classification because there are five guys there who are potential Tour or Giro or Vuelta winners. But we're going there without pressure." Helping van Garderen in the mountain stages will be Mathias Frank and newcomer Dominik Nerz, Lelangue said, while Hushovd, newcomer Daniel Oss and Manuel Quinziato will use the race to prepare for the classics. "If we can play a role in the GC, it would be with van Garderen and maybe with Frank," Lelangue said.

Download the BMC Racing Team Race Sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics):

BMC Racing Team Tour de San Luis Roster (Jan. 21-27):
Mathias Frank (SUI), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Dominik Nerz (GER), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA) Tejay van Garderen (USA).

Sport Director:
John Lelangue (BEL)

Dario Spinelli (ITA)

Mechanics: Alessandro Gaia (ITA), Kevin Grove (USA). Soigneurs: Chris De Vos (BEL), Luca Vaiente (ITA).