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“My goal this year is just to improve on last year. I’m at the point in my career where I just need to focus on my ride and I don’t need to be concerned with what Froome or Contador or doing," Talansky said.

Photo: Sirotti






10.06.2014 @ 06:11 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

It’s always highly difficult to judge the disposition of Tour de France contenders lining up at the Criterium du Dauphine, and it certainly was a case for Andrew Talansky, as American rider has shown a slow, gradual progress this season, yet none of his latest showings suggested that he would be able to match biggest Tour favorites in uphill finales. However, apparently the 25-year old Garmin-Sharp leader timed his form just perfectly for his season’s greatest objective and aims to improve on last year’s tenth place in July.


After riding a decent time trial in the opening prologue, Talansky became one of the protagonists on the final climb of the Criterium du Dauphine second stage. Even though he was initially dropped when leaders started to attack themselves, the 25-year old American climbed his way back to very selective six-rider group consisting of Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Wilco Kelderman (Belkin), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) and once he did, he immediately became one of the most aggressive riders on the final ramps of Col du Beal, alongside victorious Briton and impressive Dutchmen.


“Today isn’t typically my speciality early on in a race with just one climb. It’s usually a lot better for me if it’s repetitively hard and when people are tired but I’m really happy with how today went. I think I’ll be a little bit better for Saturday’s stage,” Talansky said at the finish.


“I did [get dropped] but that wasn’t so much the effort as positioning. These people fight and I understand that we’re in race but you have guys who fight tooth and nail and then they don’t have it when then first acceleration comes. That opens up a gap so instead of putting myself in the red I and one of the IAM guys just rode back up there. They were start-stopping so I could ride my own temp and we picked up Nibali along the way.”


After crossing the finish line fifth, ahead of Nibali, and improving his position in the general classification to sixth, the Garmin-Sharp leader was pleased to have discovered when he stands ahead of the Tour de France, in regards to both his climbing and time trialing.


“Yesterday showed that my form is good. The time trial was a balanced course and that’s more on par with where I should be. I felt good on the TT bike and there haven’t been too many opportunities to do them this year so it’s a nice one to put in the bank before the Tour starts,” he told Cyclingnews.


While Talansky insists that he is still yet to reach his top disposition for the French grand tour, he admitted that it cannot change a thing concerning potential rivalry with Froome, Contador and Nibali, as he expects them to be in the class of their own when it comes to the Tour de France. However, he also acknowledged that a battle for remaining spots within top ten was wide open and he confirmed that his main objective would be improving on his last year’s tenth position in the greatest of three-week events.


“Contador and Froome are on a different level. This is their race and we’re all along for the ride essentially. It’s the same for the Tour de France. It’s going to make for an exciting Tour but you have to be realistic and those guys have shown time and time again that they’re on a different level from everyone at the moment.

“Behind those two and Nibali, who has won the Giro, there is definitely an opening. After those guys you have an opening and it’s wide open.”


“My goal this year is just to improve on last year. I’m at the point in my career where I just need to focus on my ride and I don’t need to be concerned with what Froome or Contador or doing. I need to focus on myself and the ride that I’m doing. That’s the important thing and that’s the best way to keep things realistic and to keep your feet on the ground.”



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