Peter Velits led teammate Danilo Wyss on a stage marked by wet, chilly conditions. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour De Romandie, Stage 3: Van Garderen Withdraws

02.05.2014, Aigle, Switzerland

Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team withdrew from the Tour de Romandie Friday, saying injuries from his crash in Tuesday's prologue made it too painful to continue.

Better To Rest Than Continue
Van Garderen suffered extensive road rash to his right hip, shoulder, elbow and ankle in the crash that happened early in the prologue. He finished Wednesday and Thursday's stages but not with the main peloton. "There were no broken bones, but it was pretty painful," van Garderen said. "I was optimistic it was getting better each day and that I could finish the race up strong. But when we hit the steep climbs today, it really started aggravating and flaring up. I just thought it wasn't worth risking doing further damage by staying in the race. It is better to rest it and kind of turn the page on the spring and focus on the Tour de France, which is what is most important." Van Garderen was runner-up at the Tour of Oman in February and won a stage of the Volta a Catalunya in March on the way to a third-place finish overall. "Tejay needs two or three days of nothing for a good recovery," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said. "But I have confidence in him for his next races. This won't be a problem."

Wyss In The Breakaway
Simon Spilak (Katusha Team) won Friday's rain-soaked 180.5 km race in a sprint against Chris Froome (Team Sky) after the pair broke away on the final climb and stayed away on the descent. Spilak is the new race leader, one second ahead of Froome, while Darwin Atapuma was best for the BMC Racing Team in 19th, 3:25 back. Atapuma said he is slowly coming into form. "It was quite a difficult start of the race for me and I am also not feeling the best," he said. "My goal in this race was to be close to Tejay in the mountains. But he had really bad luck with the crash. For me, I think this race will be important to grow my shape and be ready for the Tour de France." BMC Racing Team's Danilo Wyss was part of an early breakaway that enjoyed a nearly six-minute lead. But his escape group eventually split up and was overtaken before the last of the four categorized climbs. Teammate Martin Kohler, who earned the lead in the PMU sprint competition by being part of a two-man breakaway Thursday, held onto the green jersey with a six-point margin.

Listen to complete comments from Atapuma (in Spanish), Ledanois and van Garderen at the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

Watch videos of the race on the BMC Racing Team's YouTube channel.

View photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.