After a disappointing run at the Tour de France, Tejay Van Garderen wants to redeem himself, and he only has one last big shot to do it. Van Garderen, of Team BMC, dropped out of the Tour de France in the 17th Stage due to illness after the second rest day. He was in third place in the general classification and had a chance at his first GC podium at the Tour. His withdrawal was a massive disappointment to Americans and to Team BMC.

The next event that Van Garderen was due to race was the USA Pro Challenge, a weeklong race that takes place throughout Colorado. The Aspen resident is the 2013 and ’14 winner of this race, however, he has recently decided to forgo a chance at a three-peat. He will instead race in the Vuelta a Espana in Spain, the final Grand Tour of the season.

After what happened in France, Van Garderen feels like he has something to prove.

“This is 100 percent my decision. It would be nice to go out and try to win the USA Pro Challenge again,” Van Garderen wrote in a statement on BMC Racing’s website. “But after what happened at the Tour, I need to prove myself on a bigger scale.”

Team Sky’s Richie Porte will be leaving the British team to join BMC racing next year. After a 48th place finish in this year’s Tour as a main domestique for winner Chris Froome, it’s possible that Porte could replace Van Garderen as the leader of Team BMC. This speculation was already stirring before Van Garderen withdrew from the Tour de France, it was said that if he did not make it to the podium, his position would be in question.

However, Team BMC’s president and general manager Jim Ochowicz thinks that the race in Spain is a good idea.

“Due to his illness and withdrawal from this year’s Tour de France, we had an opportunity to reconsider what was best for Tejay in the coming months, the management team supports Tejay’s decision to participate in this year’s Vuelta,” said Ochowicz on the team website.

There is a lot riding on this one race for Van Garderen, but he is confident in his decision.

“But after looking at the route and considering what happened at the Tour, all things just seemed to point in the direction that the Vuelta was the path to take,” he said. “The more I have thought about it, the more excited I am about doing it. It is a great new challenge.

The last time Van Garderen raced in the Vuelta a Espana was in 2010. He will be racing with BMC teammate Samuel Sanchez. The race will begin August 22 with a 4.6-mile team time trial at Porto Banus.

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