American loses more than two minutes to rivals
Andrew Talansky's (Garmin-Sharp) general classification hopes were dealt another blow as he crashed on stage 8 of the Tour de France. Talansky came down on a corner of the final descent and ended up losing more than two minutes to his general classification rivals. He now lies in 16th place, more than four minutes back on the yellow jersey.
The American was already licking his wounds from a spill in the finishing straight of Friday’s stage. The three kilometre rule protected him from losing time then, but he wasn't so lucky this time. The rain came hammering down on the riders, after starting in sunshine, making the roads slick. Talansky hit the deck with several other riders, including Geraint Thomas and Leopold König, on the descent of the Grosse Pierre.
"The team did a really great job in preparation for the last climb and we were sitting in a good position. Unfortunately you can see how the weather is and the roads, the asphalt is very different," directeur sportif Charly Wegelius said after he arrived at the team bus. "In some corners it’s pretty smooth and in others it’s pretty rough. Unfortunately at that stage of the race he crashed and we’re just going to wait now till Prentice [Steffen], the doctor, gets back and can see exactly how he is."
Talansky was unable to get going for a little while, struggling with his bike as he waited for the team car to arrive. "We were a little behind, because the judges were keeping the bikes behind and when we got to him we changed the bike immediately and tried to go up towards the end of the race," said Wegelius.
Angry about suffering yet another crash and seeing his GC hopes slowly slipping from his grasp, Talansky refused to talk to anyone as he rode back to the team bus. The American eventually came out to warm down, with his bike facing the bus. As he pedalled under the team's gantry to protect the riders from the rain, his injuries could be seen through the tears in his shorts. He had a small scrape to his left side, with a much larger one visible to the back of his right thigh.
The crash could prove to be a decisive blow to Talansky's hopes of improving on last year’s 10th place, but the team is hopeful that he can pull through.
"We’re always hopeful and positive, but first we need to make a serious assessment of what the situation is and make a plan from there," Wegelius said. "This is the Tour, these things happen. One day it's us and another day it's somebody else, especially with these weather conditions that’s going to be the case even more than ever."
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