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"My back hurts but I wanted to continue for the team. I continued for the team, for the guys. They trusted me for this Tour, I did not want to stop after everything they did for me."

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ANDREW TALANSKY

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TOM-JELTE SLAGTER

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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16.07.2014 @ 23:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having gone into the race with lofty GC ambitions, Andrew Talansky suffered a lot from his injuries after two big crashes in today's stage 11 of the Tour de France. Having barely made the time cut, the American said that he fought his way through immense back pain in honour of his teammates who have been working hard for him.

 

Suffering from pain in the back and on the verge of giving up, Andrew Talansky (GRS) finally crossed the line in last place, 32'05» behind stage winner Tony Gallopin.

 

"My back hurts but I wanted to continue for the team," he said. "I continued for the team, for the guys. They trusted me for this Tour, I did not want to stop after everything they did for me.

 

"I'm just suffering quite a bit from my crashes. I have some really bad back pain but I just wanted to make it to the finish for my team. It was for my teammates, for my team and the work that they've put into this Tour for me. I didn't just want to stop and go home that way after everything they've done for me."

 

Garmin Sharp team director Charly Wegelius praised Andrew Talansky for finishing the stage inside the time cut in spite of awful pain in the back.  

 

"We know he had a very hard day, worse than we expected. We were hoping for the stage to go better than this. Unfortunately, that's the way it was. We can be content that he went that far. He did not want to give up. It's typical of cyclists but even more so of Andrew. He deserved much better.   

 

"It's very disappointing to come to this race with the kind of of expectations that Andrew had. He deserved much better than this, so that's cruel.  It came from  these two crashes in two days.  

 

"He needed some reassurance from Robbie (Hunter) about the situation he was in. Robbie talked him to the finish line.  For someone with this character it's only natural to make it to the finish line."

 

"Honestly, I didn't say too much," Hunter said of their conversation afterwards. "I said to him that the decision was up to him. If at the end of the day, he finds himself in a situation where he can't continue, no problem. But if he wants to fight on and get to the finish - because that's the kind of guy he is - then the only way we're going to get there is by riding.

 

"I'll never encourage a person to get off his bike. I've been in a position where I've stopped Tours de France previously and a couple of hours later I've regretted it. The only thing I said to Andrew is that if you're going to stop, make sure it's the right decision. I think going forward a decision will be made and Andrew is glad he's got to the finish.

 

"He thought it was time to maybe stop the Tour but we sat down, got the emotion out of it, thought about it for a couple of seconds and decided to continue to get to the finish. Tonight we can sit down together with the medical staff and make a proper decision about where we can go with this."

 

While Talansky suffered, his team ripped the race apart as they tried to set Tom-Jelte Slagter up for a stage win. However, the Dutchman didn't have the legs to finish it off.

 

"We wanted to make the final hard for the sprinters by setting tempo on the climbs," he said. "That did not work out the way we wanted. I thought it was too early to go, but when Bakelants went, I went after him. That took a lot of strength, and I was already caught on the next climb. Maybe I was not good enough but the breakaway never really got enough room.

 

"I don't know if I will win a stage or not. But if all goes well, I hope to be in the final at least once.

 

"I didn't know [about Talansky's situation]. We had just started to ride. We knew that Andrew was not super, but we heard nothing about his situation. It is sad for him."

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