Andrew Talansky is hoping to build on his recent success as he looks to retain his Critérium du Dauphiné title. Talansky will lead the Cannondale-Garmin team as they target both stage and overall success at the French race.
Talansky was the surprise champion last season when he jumped from third to first overall on the final day of racing after making it into a breakaway and he’s keen to make it two. “I’m very much looking forward to returning to the Dauphiné having won the race last year,” said Talansky.
“A few my teammates from last year’s Dauphiné are returning this year, and I think the race holds a special place in the season for all of us. It was my first personal stage race win at this level, and I’m the youngest rider to have won the Dauphiné in the history of the race. It’s all pretty exciting.”
Joining Talansky at the Dauphiné is the team’s other potential GC contender Dan Martin. Martin missed last year’s race following his crash during the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia. Three of the riders that helped Talansky to success in 2014 will return to this season’s race with Ramunas Navardauskas, Jack Bauer and Sebastian Langeveld named in the eight-man line-up. Nathan Haas and Dylan van Baarle will make their debuts at the race while Kristjian Koren joins the set-up after leading the Cannondale team last year.
Talansky had a slow start to the season in Europe and his preparations took a further set back when allergies forced him out of the Tour of California. He bounced back though with victory in the US national time trial championships. The Dauphiné will be the first time that Talansky will race since the National Championships. Talansky will get his chance to show off the stars and stripes on the stage three time trial but the American has his eyes on the climbs later in the week.
“Personally, I’m looking forward to the mountain stages,” explained Talansky. “The team is definitely on the right track at the moment. We had success at the Giro. I won the time trial at Nationals. We raced really well together as a team at the national road race. We all feel the momentum building, and we’re looking forward to continue to build on the success we’ve seen recently and carrying that into the Dauphiné.”