Talansky looks for consistency as leadership role grows

American rider heads to Tirreno and Romandie ahead of Tour de France

Consistency is the key for Andrew Talansky as he embarks on the start of his 2014 campaign for Garmin-Sharp. The 25-year-old, who finished 10th in his debut Tour de France last year is one of his American team’s leading GC riders and at the Challenge Mallorca this week, spelled out his aim for this season was to consistency contend in stage races.

“I have another three or four years until we can really see what I can do and each year is a stepping stone to get there. On the way it’s about learning how to be a leader on and off the bike,” he told Cyclingnews.

Garmin has no lack of experience or leadership. In David Millar they have one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and despite the loss of David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde to retirement, the team’s relative young guns in Talansky and Dan Martin have ridden multiple Grand Tours between then.

The role of leader is one that Talansky believes he can mature into but there’s no rush it seems.

“They’re designing the team’s hopes around the GC, with myself, Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal and they’ve brought in people to do that. It’s fun for me to have Ben King on the team and I think it’s a little younger. We miss guys like Vande Velde and Zabriskie but it’s a good group this year,” he told Cyclingnews.

“I still speak to Christian. He’s such an experienced person and that’s what we’ll miss. He’s been in pretty much every race and every situation. He’s was a great person to have out on the road.”

“With leadership you can look at someone like Bradley Wiggins. He doesn’t relish being in the public spotlight or all the attention being on him but he learned how to deal with it because he had to.”

“Obviously the goal for me is to improve a bit each year. I’m not looking for a massive jump all of a sudden. Last year I proved I can race at the front in the one week races and I’m already a top ten GC rider for the Grand Tours. I want to improve on that, to go to the Tour and not have a bad day in the mountains, but really I just want to be consistent all year. I’ve set some targets for Tirreno and Romandie and I want to turn up for those races and go for the podium there.”

With the off-season miles in his legs Talansky will remain in Mallorca for Garmin’s training camp. A minor crash at the race saw the American pick up a few cuts to his legs, but his form appears to be solid and while most teams have already held their training rendezvous, Talansky believes that Garmin’s schedule should benefit the team.

“Having a camp in February allows us to have a camp that’s really focused and it allows us to have the time to put in a big block of work around the middle of the month.”

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