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"Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal have been focused on this race since the Giro so I’m here and I'm happy to support them,” Talansky said. “You can’t really put a limit on what they can do.”

Photo: Sirotti










25.08.2014 @ 14:48 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Andrew Talansky by many was considered a dark horse to finish on the podium of the star-studded Vuelta a Espana after the Criterium du Dauphine surprise winner abandoned the Tour de France in highly dramatic circumstances. Recovered from injuries sustained in France, the 25-year old American managed to put his latest disappointments into a right perspective but claimed that he is dedicated to a supporting role he is expected to play in the season’s final Grand Tour.


Talansky’s heroic fight to finish eleventh stage of the Tour within the time limit was one of the most dramatic pictures of the entire race. Even though the Garmin-Sharp leader was forced to abandon the race the same evening, his struggles in pain in tears turned out to be inspirational for cycling enthusiasts, what helped him in leaving disappointments behind and instantly focusing on the future.


“I think it’s an experience that anybody who plans to ride for the podium in the Tour almost needs to have. You need to see what it’s like,” Talansky told Cyclingnews. “I had a good experience at the Tour last year, now I’ve had an experience where the Tour got thrown out the window, where every preconceived notion and goal you have is gone. You leave the Tour and it’s gone, you know.

“But it’s good because you get tougher mentally from it and you understand that it can happen. It can happen to me, it can happen to Chris Froome, it can happen to Alberto Contador, it can happen to anybody any year in the Tour.”


“What I took the most heart from is that it was such a terrible experience for me, but people found inspiration in that. People found something good that came from something so bad,” Talansky said. “It wasn’t my intention in doing that, but it really helped me leave the Tour in a better place than I would otherwise have done.”


As the 25-year old American managed to fully recover from a spine inflammation, he was immediately pointed out as one of the podium contenders at the Vuelta by a virtue of his climbing legs, aggressive attitude and time trialing skills at least one level above other favorites present at the Spanish Grand Tour.


Even though riders who were forced to switch their attention to the Vuelta due to Tour disappointments, and there are plenty, were traditionally reluctant to admit their chances in a fight for a red jersey, Talansky claimed that in his particular case it had nothing to do with playing mind games. The young American acknowledged that while he had a strong and dedicated squad at his very own disposal at the Tour, Spanish three-week event was a personal goal for Daniel Martin and Ryder Hesjedal from the beginning of 2014 season.


“I got to go to the Tour and the team supported me there but Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal have been focused on this race since the Giro so I’m here and I’m happy to support them,” Talansky said. “These guys have been focused on the Vuelta since the Giro, so you can’t really put a limit on what they can do.”


In such circumstances, the 25-year old claims to gladly accept riding in a support of two older team-mates, and while he still aims to contest two individual time trials at the Vuelta, his closest personal objectives are already connected with the upcoming season.


“I’m happy that I was fit and healthy enough to start the race,” Talansky said. “Personally in the second half of the race I’ll be getting better and obviously I’ll go hard in both time trials. If I have the opportunity for a stage win then I’ll take that, but I’m here to support our leaders.”


“The easier, more fun option would have been to race the Tour of Colorado but you need a Grand Tour in your legs every year to keep improving and I only made it halfway through the Tour,” Talansky said. “With 2015 in mind, getting through this race is the first step in building for the Tour next year, that’s really the goal. I know that you need to do a grand tour.”



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