Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp)white jersey at Paris-Nice
It’s well documented that 24-year-old Andrew Talansky hails from South Florida’s flatlands, yet that hasn’t hindered his ascent to the top ranks of the pro peloton with Garmin-Sharp. On the heels of a stage win, second overall, and winning the white jersey at Paris-Nice, Andrew reflects on the past week and looks ahead to what’s next.
Last year, you proved that the 2011 rookie season was no fluke; highlighted by second overall and the white jersey at the Tour of Romandie. After that success, what’s changed psychologically about your approach to racing this year?
I gained a lot of confidence from my performances at Romandie, Tour de L’ain, and the Vuelta last year. Romandie was a bit of a “surprise.” Tour de L’ain reminded me of what it felt like to win. The Vuelta showed me I have the consistency over the course of three weeks to develop into a real grand tour contender. I took all of that into this year, so I was very confident that as long as I put in the work and dedicated myself to the plan that [coach] Jesse Moore came up with, it would pay off at Paris-Nice. I still approach races the same as I always have, to get the best performance possible out of myself, whatever that may be.
You unleashed a few big group sprints, including one to take the overall win on stage 3. Is that a nod to more confidence and aggressiveness?
Last year at Romandie, I was 4th in a fairly big sprint, but it was a sprint after we raced all out up a small climb. I’ve always had a good kick out of a small group under the right circumstances, and stage 3 of Paris Nice was pretty much my ideal scenario. A group of 5-6 guys, no real sprinters, I always like my chances in a situation like that. When it comes to real sprints with 40-50 guys, people banging bars and going a little nuts, that’s not really my thing. I will step up and be aggressive when I really think I have a chance of winning. Otherwise, I’ll leave it to the real sprinters.
A lot of racers will be really curious to know what was going through your mind on stage 5. When the action heated up, you were isolated and knew everyone was about to throw down. What was your plan?
I wasn’t really concerned with everyone else. I had my own plan and for the most part I stuck to it. I got so involved in the race that I wasn’t thinking for a moment. I could have waited till Ritchie went to launch that last attack, but that’s hindsight. I knew I was strong and Richie was really the only person I knew could do something like he did. The team defended the jersey for two days for me and the plan was just to give it everything on the climb to Montagne de Lure.
What were you and TJ talking about when Porte was clear?
Tejay was riding for the overall as well. He, along with everyone else in my group, was watching his chance at victory ride up the road, so he said he’d pull with me. It was really windy and I wasn’t willing to pull completely on my own only to get attacked and lose time in the final few hundred meters. It was ideal until, for one reason or another, he decided to stop working after one pull and that was that. Then I had to start thinking about the bonus seconds on the line which I ended up taking with 3rd.
Where to next?
Next, I will race Criterium International, really just using it as training. Then, onto Pais Vasco and Romandie, both of which are major goals.
Should we look forward to seeing you in France in July?
That is the plan. There are a lot of boxes to tick off before I get there but that is the goal, being the best I can for the Tour.
Interview By Chris Lyman