Tejay Van Garderen and the Team BMC won Stage 9, the team time trial and narrowed Van Garderen’s gap on the yellow jersey by a second. This was a big gain for Van Garderen, as he sits in second place behind Chris Froome who claimed the lead in Stage 7 after then-leader Tony Martin had to withdraw due to his crash in Stage 6. BMC beat team Sky by one second, but in this race, one second can really make a difference. Froome carries a lead of 12 seconds into Stage 10 following Monday’s rest day.

Stage 9 was raced on a short yet, rough route between Vannes and Plumelec in Brittany. Each of the teams took off right after another, with a five minute gap between them. The rest of the “Fab Four” finished immediately behind Froome, widening his gap on each.

Nairo Quintana’s Movistar team was third, behind BMC by 4 seconds, Alberto Contador’s Tinkoff-Saxo team was fourth with a 28 second gap and reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana team was fifth with a 35 second deficit.

Van Garderen was very excited with the way stage nine concluded.

“It’s an incredible feeling, so far the team in the first week has been incredible, we’ve passed every test with flying colours,” Van Garderner told RFI.

Over the weekend, Van Garderen began to show some frustration at not being included among the favorites to win the 2015 Tour, despite being in second or place and less than 30 seconds behind the leader for most of the race.

“Those guys have that tag as the fab four, which is getting a little irritating hearing,” Van Garderen said over the weekend. “I’m not offended not to be in that because all those guys in the fab four have won Grand Tours.”

But the current race leader and 2013 Tour champion is not sleeping on the American.

“Tejay, I’ve said from the beginning of the race, is definitely someone to look out for,” Froome said. “At the Dauphine, he was also up there in the climbs, so we can expect something similar here.”

Monday is the first rest day of the tour. Starting on Tuesday the tour begins to climb up into the Pyrenees and into much more intense conditions. Stage 10 will start in Tarbes and go to la Pierre-Saint-Martin, a 166 km ride in total. Tuesday is Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day. This year’s Tour began on July 4, America’s Independence Day. The American, Van Garderen, would love to take the yellow jersey from Froome, a Briton, and spoil the day.

Sabrina Naccarato, a Mile High Sports intern and MSU-Denver student, contributed to this report