Tacoma native van Garderen on Tour leader Nibali

Tacoma native van Garderen on Tour leader Nibali

Credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

GERARDMER LA MAUSELAINE, FRANCE - JULY 12: Tejay van Garderen of the USA and the BMC Racing Team crosses the finish line on stage eight of the 2014 Tour de France, a 161km stage between Tomblaine and Gerardmer La Mauselaine, on July 12, 2014 in Gerardmer La Mauselaine, France.

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 15 at 3:59 PM

American rider Tejay van Garderen says Tour leader Vincenzo Nibali is "one of the most incredible bike handlers I've ever seen."

The Italian race leader has avoided crashes like those that meant the end of the Tour for Contador and Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour champion.

Van Garderen, bearing scrapes and a bandage on his leg after his own crash in Stage 7, suggested that Nibali has a sixth sense about bike racing.

"Like, if he gets himself in a bad situation where 99 percent of us would go down, Nibali seems to do OK," he told reporters. "Sometimes crashes are bad luck; sometimes you make your own luck."

The Tour is "the most dangerous race of the year, in my opinion," said van Garderen, who's riding in his fourth Tour but his first as BMC team leader. He is currently 7th overall, just under 4 minutes back of Nibali.

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CANCELLARA QUITS

Fabian Cancellara has pulled out of the Tour de France to focus on the Road World Championships later this year.

The 33-year-old Swiss rider is eyeing success at the worlds, which will be held in Ponferrada, Spain, from Sept. 21-28.

"I will travel home now and take a little break. The season has been long for me, starting back in Dubai. I have done 59 days of competition this season so far and I have another big goal," Cancellara said. "It's not a secret that I'd like to be in my best shape there, so it's important that I take some rest."

Cancellara, who has won eight Tour stages and has worn the race leader's yellow jersey numerous times during his career, finished second behind German rider Tony Martin in Sunday's ninth Tour stage.
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ARMSTRONG: A WITCH-HUNT VICTIM?

McQuaid made an unannounced visit to the press room on Tuesday. The ex-UCI chief declined to comment when asked if he had any regrets about his tenure.

But U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart has said the UCI under McQuaid failed to live up to promises made in November 2012 to deal with the fallout from the case of Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong admitted to doping in his career and was stripped of his seven Tour titles.

McQuaid, who once said that Armstrong had no place in cycling, said Tuesday: "I don't necessarily think the same now."

Armstrong, he said, "is the victim of a USADA witch hunt."

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