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Andrew Talansky (California Giant)
Newly-crowned TT champ gets his rewards
Recently-crowned US Under 23 time trial champion Andrew Talansky has signed a three-year contract with ProTour team Garmin-Transitions beginning in 2011.
Before turning pro, the Florida native hopes to cap off his final year as an amateur racer with victories at the Tour de l'Avenir held in early September in France and the U23 road race at the UCI World Championships held from September 28 to October 3 in Melbourne, Australia.
"I wasn't surprised but very happy with a three-year contract because it is a feeling of faith from them that they are finding riders that they believe in and helping them develop," said Talansky. "Three years signifies their commitment to helping me reach my full potential."
After an unsettling season last year with the Italian team Amore & Vita, Talansky joined the California Giant squad and made the necessary changes to this program to yield strong results in the US during 2010.
"Last year there wasn't a single result that I got that would help secure a spot on a ProTour team," Talansky continued. "It wasn't the best team situation and I got sick early on and never found the form I was looking for."
"This year, I sat down to see what I needed to do differently and put it all into place," he explained. "I was very positive and being with Cal Giant with such a good environment put me in a good place mentally. Add that to good physical fitness and it was a good combination."
Talansky's consistent results turned heads at the Tour of the Gila held in April in Silver City, New Mexico. He placed fifth in the opening Mogollon Road Race, maintained sixth place overall and won the Best Young Rider classification by the end of the five-day race.
His results were more significant given the participation of six ProTour riders, including RadioShack's seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Jason McCartney along with Garmin-Transition's Dave Zabriskie, Tom Danielson and Tom Peterson. He followed up with a strong performance at the Joe Martin Stage Race where he won the prologue.
"This year my Gila ride started my conversation with [Jonathan] Vaughters," said Talansky. "He was at that race in the car for Tom Danielson and Dave Zabriskie so he got to see my ride. I think that the Joe Martin prologue was a good win that might have confirmed me as a good addition to the team.
"We had some good conversations and talks and it all went smoothly. I got the contract signed and everything done before we came back from Europe. He offered me a contract and then my results in Europe were icing on the cake."
"I went with the US National Team and placed third in the Ronde de l'Isard d'Ariege in France," he added. "Then I won a stage and held the yellow jersey for a couple days but finished second overall at the Volta Tarragona in Spain. We did three stage races there so in the last race I won a stage of the Tour des Pays de Savoie in France."
Next year, Talansky hopes to start his ProTour career by competing in races as esteemed as the Liége-Bastogne-Liége, Amstel Gold, Tour of California, Tour de Suisse and the Critèrium du Dauphiné.
"I see myself doing something similar to what Peter Stetina did this year," Talansky said. "I won't be doing the Tour de France but would like to start some of the biggest races in the world. I'm looking forward to sitting down with the team to see what they expect from me and what they have in mind for me. I'm sure it will be great."