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Five U.S. Riders Compete in 2018 Tour de France

By: Angelina Palermo  July 16, 2018

The Tour de France is pretty fresh territory for four of the five U.S. riders in the midst of the 21-stage race. Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore.) and Chad Haga (McKinney, Texas) are both making their Tour debut, while Lawson Craddock (Houston) and Tayor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) are racing for a second time. It’s Tejay van Garderen (Aspen, Colo.) who has been on the starting line for several editions of the race, and who has joined his team on the podium already this year. En route to racing in the famed event, all five Americans honed their skills in USA Cycling development programs, U.S. national championships, and while wearing red, white and blue on the international stage.

Lawson Craddock

The 105th Tour de France got underway on July 7, and it was a rough start for Craddock, the 26-year-old Texan riding for EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale. A crash mid-way through the opening stage left him with stitches above his left eye and a fractured scapula.

Craddock remains in the race, currently in 167th position, and helped his team to a sixth-place finish in the Stage 3 Team Time Trial. He’s also raising funds to support the Greater Houston Cycling Foundation. For every stage he finishes, he’ll donate $200 to the foundation to help fund programs and repair the Alkek Velodrome that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year.

Craddock returns to the Tour after finishing the race for the first time in 2016. A former member of the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, he won the road race, criterium and time trial at the 2010 U.S. National Junior Road Championships. Craddock also owns two individual time trial medals from the UCI Junior Road World Championships, winning silver in 2009 and bronze in 2010.

Tejay van Garderen

Like Craddock, van Garderen returns to the Tour de France after missing last year, yet this edition is his seventh time on the start line. He calls the Tour a “marathon,” and twice he’s finished fifth overall – 2012 and 2014. For his performance in 2012 he earned the Best Young Rider jersey.

This year, the Stage 3 Team Time Trial put the 29-year-old van Garderen on top of the podium with his BMC Racing team, and he shared the fastest time of the day. He is currently the top U.S. rider, sitting in 30th position after nine stages.

For van Garderen, a member of the USA Cycling National Team, this race is his 12th Grand Tour. On the way to joining the professional ranks, he was part of the USA Cycling Junior Development Team and captured 10 junior national titles. A member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, van Garderen owns multiple UCI Road World Championships medals in the Team Time Trial, including gold in 2014.

Taylor Phinney

A three-time Olympian, Phinney is riding alongside Craddock on the EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale team on the Tour. This is his second consecutive appearance in the race, and on Sunday he was back on the cobbles of Roubaix, where earlier this year he finished in eighth place at the Paris-Roubaix race during his Classics campaign. Phinney is currently 134th among the field of riders in the 2018 Tour de France.

Phinney, 28, has represented Team USA at three Olympic Games – 2008, 2012 and 2016. At the 2012 Games in London, he narrowly missed the podium in both of his events, finishing fourth in the road race and individual time trial. He is a three-time U.S. national time trial champion (2010, 2014, 2016), a two-time UCI World Champion on the track (2009 & 2010 individual pursuit), and he is racing in his fifth Grand Tour.

Chad Haga

Haga, another Texan, is making his Tour debut with Team Sunweb, although it’s his eighth career Grand Tour race. He sits in 51st after nine stages, and he rode to a fifth-place finish with his teammates in the Stage 3 Team Time Trial.

Fresh on the heels of a solid performance at this year’s Giro d’Italia, Haga captured the silver medal in the individual time trial at the 2018 U.S. Pro Road, Individual Time Trial and Criterium National Championships. He also has two top-10 finishes at the UCI Road World Championships with his U.S. teammates in the team time trial (2015, 2016). Haga, 29, began racing while attending Texas A&M University, where in 2010 he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. Follow his blog on Cycling News throughout the 2018 Tour de France.

Ian Boswell

Boswell is also racing in his first Tour de France, and it’s his first Grand Tour race since 2016. The 27-year-old is in the lineup with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN and is currently 149th.

The USA Cycling Development Program was part of Boswell’s progression to the pro level. He spent time in Belgium training and racing with the USA Cycling U23 National Development Team, as well as racing with the Hot Tubes Cycling Team. He is the first American to ride for Katusha-Alpecin.

After a rough day on the cobbles on Sunday, the Tour de France takes its first rest day as the race shifts to the Alps. Monday’s break comes following the completion of Stage 9 in Roubaix, and the coming stages should favor strong climbers, like Boswell. The 2018 Tour de France concludes on Sunday, July 21, with the procession into the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Later this summer, USA Cycling will announce the lineup of U.S. riders selected to race at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships, running September 22-30 in Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria. Selection criteria can be found here.