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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) struggled to make the time cut on stage 11, riding alone for 90km.
Crash injuries prove too much for Garmin-Sharp rider
Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) will not start stage 12 of the Tour de France, due to the injuries that he sustained earlier in the race. As a result of two crashes in the opening week of the race, Talansky has acute sacroiliitis – an inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, which connects the iliac bone, in the pelvis, to the spine. In addition, the American has been suffering with an upper respiratory infection.
“I'm absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France. I built my season around the Tour, and the team has supported me every step of the way. I had hoped the rest day would allow some time to recover from my crashes,” Talansky said in a team press release issued this morning. “But it proved to be too much.”
Talansky won this year’s Criterium du Dauphiné and went into the Tour de France as a serious GC contender. The 25-year-old was looking to improve on his 10th place from last year, but crashed heavily twice during the opening week. Talansky first hit the deck on stage 7, when he crossed wheels with Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) in the sprint finish. The following day, he went down on a wet corner on the final descent and lost more than two minutes to the other GC contenders.
Both accidents were at high speed, but the team had hoped he could continue. The first signs that things were not alright was on the Planche des Belles Filles, where Talansky lost just over 10 minutes to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), sending him tumbling down the general classification. Things only got worse for the American and the rest day did nothing to abate the pain he was suffering.
After puncturing during yesterday’s stage 11, Talansky was forced to battle home alone for around half of the stage. At one point, it looked like he might call it quits, climbing off and sitting on the barriers. However, with tears on his face, he clipped back in and set off once again. He eventually finished 32:05 behind the stage winner and a little over five minutes inside the time cut.
“I wanted the team to keep up the fight for the stage, and in turn for them, I wanted to fight to the finish. It’s been hard for me personally with the crashes, but I'm really proud of how we rode together here. These guys are so strong and there is so much more they can do over the rest of the Tour. I'll go home now and rest and recover but I will be watching from there and cheering for my team every day.”