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"With decent preparation this year in the month of May and the first part of June, getting everything on track and checking all the boxes, then I think it's a great route," Talansky tells Cyclingnews

Photo: Sirotti






01.01.2014 @ 12:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In 2013 Andrew Talansky made his debut at the Tour de France in a very impressive fashion when he finished 10th overall after riding a smart race to take back time lost in the Pyrenees by getting into a strong breakaway. This year the American will go back in an attempt to improve on that performance while he will also target success in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie earlier in the year.


Ever since his U23 days, Andrew Talansky has been regarded as one of the future American stage racing stars and the American has come a long way in living up to the lofty expectations since turning professional with Garmin in 2011. After mostly excelling in time trials in his first year, the 25-year-old has developed into a true stage race specialist who already has a 7th in the Vuelta and a 10th in the Tour on his palmares.


The latter result was taken in 2013 when he made his debut in the world's biggest race. The performance came on the back of a very strong start to the season where he won a stage and finished 2nd overall in Paris-Nice and was 6th in the Criterium International.


His first taste of La Grande Boucle has given him the desire to go back and try to do even better than he did in his first attempt. With teammate Daniel Martin set to focus on the Giro d'Italia, Talansky is likely to join forces with Ryder Hesjedal to lead the Garmin-Sharp team in France this summer.


Talansky is a truly versatile rider who can take time on most of his rivals in the time trials. This year's Tour course only features one race against the clock, compared to last year's two.


Talansky admits that, on paper, the course may not be as favourable as the one for the 2013 edition but he is keen to test himself in a different kind of challenge. In 2013 he was sick at both the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphiné and had a far from ideal preparation for the Tour and he is eager to see how far he can get with a better build-up.


"I did the Tour last year and the course was designed in one way and then I'll got this year and the course is designed in a very different way with one long flat time trial, we go to the Alps first and then do more Pyrenees at the end," he told Cyclingnews. "I think it's good because I'll have two years of very different race routes at the Tour and that will provide a good perspective on which I prefer more.


"I think for me on paper last year was more favorable given the two time trials, but honestly I showed up at the Tour last year with not ideal preparation and I ended up 10th," he added. "With decent preparation this year in the month of May and the first part of June, getting everything on track and checking all the boxes, then I think it's a great route [in 2014]."


The Tour de France will not be Talansky's only 2014 target. Like in 2013, he wants to have a strong start to the season and would have loved to return to the Paris-Nice.


Having seen a draft of the course, he has, however, decided to do the Tirreno-Adriatico instead whose course offers both a time trial, a team time trial and a real summit finish.


"Originally the thought was I'd start at Paris-Nice, but the course was sent out to teams for that and it doesn't look nearly as favorable for me as last year so I'll probably be going to Tirreno," he said. "It's a chance to do a time trial, a team time trial and there's a proper mountain top finish so that looks a lot more appealing early on than a bunch of rolling stages at Paris-Nice.


"It's kind of disappointing, because I really wanted to go back and try to win Paris-Nice because I had a great time there last year. I really love racing in France but you have to deal with what the courses are in a given year and they change a bit."


Talansky's other spring target will be the Tour de Romandie where he took his first major result in 2012, finishing 2nd behind Bradley Wiggins. This year he was on track for a similarly strong showing after finishing 2nd behind Chris Froome in the mountain prologue but got sick later in the race.


"Then the plan is Romandie again - I've seen they've released the course a little bit and there's a prologue and a time trial on the last day," he said. "I don't know the profile for that time trial the last day but any sort of time trial the last day will be good. And if I show up there healthy then I really think I have a chance to win. That's another big goal for me, then it's time for a break and re-build a little bit and then do Dauphine and the Tour again."


Talansky's stage win in Paris-Nice was his only victory in 2013.



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