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„I want to get some good results at the Tour first,” Talansky said. „If you’re can podium at the Tour, then you’re probably at the level where, if you focus 100 percent on the Vuelta, it’s something you m...

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling




04.03.2015 @ 14:15 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

The 2014 season was definitely full of drama, but probably no one experienced as spectacular raise and fall as Andrew Talansky. The 26-year old American used a weakness of the Tinkoff-Saxo squad to the maximal extent on the ultimate day of the Criterium du Dauphine, sneaking away with his career's biggest victory, just to experience arguably the most heartbreaking Tour de France exit in the recent history. The Cannondale-Garmin insists, though, that his experiences from the last year changed him less than enyone could have expected and he is ready to hit the French roads again.


„It was a lot to absorb in the moment. It definitely took time. It’s something I’m very, very proud of,” Talansky told VeloNews. „The result may change the way others may view you, but ideally it doesn’t change who you are and the way you act, and I like to think that’s true for myself.”


„The only thing is that I’ve progressed in what I can do physically, and obviously mentally progressed a bit, to the point where I can win a race like that.”


After his dramatic race against the time limit on the mountainous 11th stage of last year Tour's – for some reason not regarded as impressive enough by French organizers to grant him a combativity award – Talansky obviously marks his return to the event as most important goal of the 2015 season. Even though the 26-year old American proved that he has what it takes to excell in the most prestigeous of three-week long stage races by finishing 10th and winning the young riders classification in 2013, he remains cautious not to have too high expectations. While he admits that reaching the Tour podium would be a dream achievement, the Garmin-Cannondale leader sets improving on his best result from the event as his main objective.


„That would be a dream result,” the 26-year old American answered while asked about a possibility of finishing this year's Tour de France on a podium. „I’ve had that 10th place, and the goal is obviously to improve on that, and as long as I ride the race to the best of my ability, and get to ride the race that I know I can do, and get to the mountains and get to do my thing, then I know the result is going to be one that I will personally be very happy with.”


While proving themselves in as team captains in the Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a Espana before debuting in the most prestigeous of Grand Tour events is the most typical approach for young riders, Talansky revealed entirely reversed way of thinking. The 26-year old American explained that he won't be interested in targeting the former two races before becoming confident in his ability of winning them – and regards consistent performances in the Tour de France as the best way to gain it.


„I want to get some good results at the Tour first,” Talansky explained VeloNews. „If you’re at the level where you can podium at the Tour, then you’re probably at the level where, if you focus 100 percent on the Vuelta, it’s something you might be able to win.”


„The time for that is not right now, but I wouldn’t be completely opposed to that. If I get to that point that means that I’ll be at a very, very high level, if I’m going to another grand tour to win. That would be a good situation.”


Talansky follows a slightly different race program this season, allowing his to peak early for a tough block of racing in March and April. Last year's Criterium du Dauphine winner admits that a combination of Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al Pais Vasco will be testing, but shouldn't exceed physical capabilities of Grand Tour contender.


„My schedule is pretty simple for 2015. I made a couple slight changes based on wanting to be kind of even better in June and July, but also with the goal of really being able to focus on the early part of the season 100 percent, being as good as I can possibly be, come March and April for that time of year.”


„I’m going to be doing Paris-Nice, Cataluyna, and Pais Vasco, so yeah, three one-week races with essentially one week in between each one. It’s a little different whereas in the past I’ve done Paris-Nice and then Critérium International, and then Tour de Romandie.”


„For those, it’ll be five weeks by the time it’s done. For those five weeks you’re 100 percent switched on, focused — race, recover, race, recover. And I like that, I like where you have a very clear goal; a very clear period of time that you know you need to be good, and then can take a proper rest.”


„So we’ll take a proper break and then rebuild, maybe for nationals on the way to Dauphiné, and then Dauphiné and the Tour.”


Even though the merged Cannondale-Garmin team has the lowest avarage age of all WorldTour squads, Talansky is not concerned about a lack of experience when it comes to riders expected to support him. The American rider insisted that mutual trust and good understanding are just as important.


„Obviously the team is younger, but we’ve raced together for years. Ben King and myself, Alex Howes and myself, Dan and myself, I mean we’ve raced together for years. Dan has been here since we’ve been on the team, Ryder has, so this will be five years racing together and a lot of people change teams every year or two in cycling and don’t end up building those kind of relationships.”


„I think we have the right structure both on and off the bike — the riders, the staff, the directors, everybody — to accomplish the goals we set out, and I have 100 percent confidence that with the goals we’ve laid out, for me personally next season, that the team will be ready to support them and I will be ready to accomplish them for the team,” he concluded.




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