Andrew Talansky Interview: Garmin-Sharp’s big Vuelta hope
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Andrew Talansky Interview: Garmin-Sharp’s big Vuelta hope

by Ed Hood at 8:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Vuelta a España
 
American talent talks about his season thus far

Andrew TalanskyOne of the men holding his own during Contador’s stage three Vuelta purges was Garmin’s Andrew Talansky; the young American finished in ninth spot, just six seconds down on stage winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

But Talansky’s GC position at the end of the stage - 24th at 1 minute 45 seconds - reflected Garmin’s disastrous stage one TTT when three of their riders hit the deck.

The 23 year-old from Miami came into the Vuelta with excellent form, having won a stage and the GC in the recent Tour de l’Ain then riding strongly in the Classica Ciclista San Sebastian to take 12th place.

He’s now nineteenth, one minute 26 seconds back heading into stage six.

Talansky’s first venture into the pro ranks was with US team Toshiba-Santo in 2008.

The following season he was signed by Amore & Vita-McDonalds; whilst giving him a good taste of the European scene, it was back to the amateur ranks and US team California Giant for 2010.

But a series of strong rides gained Talansky a ride as a stagiaire with Jonathan Vaughter’s Garmin team from August.

The year finished with stage wins in the Joe Martin race in the US, the Pays de Savoie in France and Volta Tarragonna in Spain.

There was also a second on GC in the Tour de l’Avenir and a US U23 TT title. These results meant there was little doubt about his move to the team on a full time basis,

His first pro season was very promising; fourth in the Tour of the Mediterranean, ninth in the Tour of Romandie, numerous good finishes in time trials – fifth in the Criterium International TT being one example – a Vuelta finish and 16th in the world TT champs in Copenhagen all boded well.

Season 2012 started well with eighth in the Tour of the Algarve; then a sparkling second to Bradley Wiggins in the mountain time trial and GC of the Tour of Romandie confirmed Talansky’s arrival.

VeloNation spoke to Talansky on the eve of the Vuelta about his win in the Tour de l’Ain and hopes for the rest of 2012.

VeloNation: Are you still based in Lucca, Andrew?

Andrew Talansky: No, I moved to Girona in Spain in January, it’s a nice place and better for training – there are a lot of Garmin riders living there, too.

VN: Your season started well – top ten in the Algarve…

I had a good winter but I got sick before Paris-Nice; that was really disappointing because I was looking forward to the time trial up the Col d’Eze.

I rode Tirreno instead but I was there just to get through it and get a couple of extra days racing.

Andrew TalanskyVN: Romandie was good for you with second overall…

AT: It was a nice result after a rough patch; I went to Romandie from la Sarthe.

Numbers-wise my condition was pretty standard, but the course really suited me. I rode the time trial course in the morning and was smiling to myself as I rode – if I had to design a mountain time trial to suit me, then that would be it!

VN: Poland was your warm up for l’Ain…

AT: I was coming back in that race, what we hadn’t realised was that I have allergies – they don’t affect me in Europe but there was something in the air in the Tour of California which inflamed my bronchial tubes.

The team said that the best way to prepare for the Vuelta after that would be do some altitude work then ride Poland.

On stage one I wasn’t super; but by the end I was feeling good – and was in good shape going into l’Ain.

VN: The first two stages in l’Ain went to Hutarovich.

AT: Yeah, bunch finishes – I’ve never had any desire to compete in those!

VN: Then the third stage was a TTT…

AT: It wasn’t one of our best; but it was good preparation for the Vuelta TTT – but fourth place isn’t bad for an ‘off’ day.

VN: Saxo-Tinkoff’s Navarro won the fourth stage and you were third.

AT: There was a huge split in the peloton – that happens in French races – with maybe 30 guys away, but that whittled down to 10.

There were two QuickSteps and two Saxos; when Navarro went I expected the QuickSteps to chase – but they didn’t.

You can’t cover everything and that wasn’t what you’d have expected – but I got third on the stage.

VN: You made your move on the fifth stage…

AT: I hadn’t expected that split the day before – but it was perfect for me. The stage came down to a sprint with three of us – I took it and the lead in the GC.

I love racing in that area, it’s not far from where Romandie is held – the roads are tricky and technical with lots of twists and turns. I’m not sure I’d be so enthusiastic if I was racing there in the rain, though!

I’m not a pure climber, more of a ‘Wiggins type’ who can take his TT power and use it to climb.

Climbs which are longer and steadier are good for me – but my climbing is progressing and in a year or two I think I’ll be at the level I’d like to be at.

Andrew TalanskyVN: The final day would be about defence?

AT: It was pretty simple for me – I had time in hand, a strong team and no need to attack.

Movistar made it a hard race but couldn’t drop me – 20 went up the road, but they were all 20 minutes down.

Christophe Le Mevel was terrific that day. He was yo-yo-ing off the back on the last climb, but got back and then rode the last 20 k on the front so hard that no one think about attacking me.

VN: Did the shorter stage at l’Ain suit your style?

AT: No, I prefer longer stages which wear people down; everyone can go full gas for three-and-a-half hours but not everyone can do it for five or six hours!

VN: And you went well in San Sebastian?

AT: I’ve never done the race before but it’s a nice event – I had doubts going into it but was pleased with my ride.

San Sebastian is World Tour – to win the Tour de l’Ain is one thing; but World Tour races, and then the Vuelta are something different again.

VN: The 2011 Vuelta was your first Grand Tour...how was that?

AT: Last season had highs and lows; the team threw me into some big races – it may have hurt at the time but it’s paying big dividends in 2012.

Last year was mentally and physically tough – I suffered in Poland but did my job for Tyler Farrar and Dan Martin at the Vuelta.

And I finished the race and stayed safe – the 2011 Vuelta has paid dividends for this year. I’m prepared for the good days and bad days which you have at a Grand Tour – consistency is the key.

I’m not in a position to ride for the podium – but I think I can ride for a solid GC position.

VN: Is the Worlds on the agenda?

AT: In my mind I believe that my TT results show that if you put me on a hilly course then I can get a result.

I’d also like to ride the TTT at the Worlds, but it’s a little close to finish of the Vuelta. And I’d love to make the road squad for Limburg.

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