• Tejay van Garderen rides in France. Photo by Tim De Waele

    Road to Victory: World class cyclist Tejay van Garderen and his Montana roots

    BY JESSE ZENTZ, PHOTO BY TIM DE WAELE

    As a kid growing up in the Gallatin Valley, Tejay van Garderen lost his job delivering the newspaper.

    It wasn’t because he couldn’t ride his bike fast enough. No, despite exceptional ability at making two wheels roll rapidly, van Garderen’s elapsed time on his roll out of bed was simply sub-standard.

    “I was fast getting the route done, but I just couldn’t get up at 5:30 in the morning, so I’d always end up delivering them late,” he said.

    Late deliveries are a thing of the past.

    At just 25 years old, van Garderen enters his fourth professional season viewed by many as the face of U.S. road cycling and as America’s best hope for a Tour de France victory.

    To read the rest of Zentz’s story on the Tejay, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more Montana all year, subscribe now.

     

    Did you know?

    Rare feat: Van Garderen claimed the white Best Young Rider’s jersey in the 2012 Tour de France, joining Greg Lemond (1984) and Andy Hampsten (1986) as the only Americans to accomplish that feat. The Best Young Rider’s jersey is awarded to the top finisher age 25 or younger. Van Garderen was 23 when he wore white.

    Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElAH8LEoEAs

    Only one: In the 2011 Tour de France, van Garderen became the first American to don the polka dot King of the Mountains jersey when he finished the eighth stage with enough points to take the lead in that category. He was 22 at the time.

    Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qg28chbmE8

    Accomplished wife: Jessica van Garderen also is an accomplished cyclist, although she’s spending more time raising a family these days. In 2009, she was national champion in the time trial and placed 14th in the same event at worlds. She also started an organic baby-clothing line, called Bumsies (www.bumsies.org). The company helps fund the Bumi Sehat Foundation (www.bumisehatfoundation.org).

     

Leave a reply.