Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) won his first US Pro Time Trial Championship over teammate Ben King in Chattanooga on Saturday. Talansky finished with a time of 38:48, 10 seconds faster than King.
"I'm very very proud to win today," Talansky said. "Being in the Tour de France and getting to wear this [championship jersey] in the opening prologue, that will be a huge honour and I’m really looking forward to it."
Mild temperatures and strong wind greeted riders as they lined up in the start house. Open roads and steady elevations made the 30.9km course ideally suited to time trial specialists like Talansky and Tom Zirbel (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies.)
It was a disappointing day for Zirbel, who finished in fourth place, a far cry from his win in 2013 and second-place finish in 2014. Before the race Zirbel's focus had been on winning the Big Bear Lake time trial at the Tour of California. Despite a venue and distance change, Zirbel still finished sixth in California.
The effort appeared to have left Zirbel without the punch he has brought to the time trial championship in the past.
"I felt like I paced it about as well as I could have but I just fell apart the second half," Zirbel said. “I just didn't have the legs from the get go. It's accumulated fatigue from California I think.
"For me, as a primarily NRC racer in the domestic circuit, that is our toughest race of the year. As I get up in years I recover slower. I was hoping for the best but those last two days at California were really tough. It showed today."
King set the best split of the day,16 seconds faster than Talansky. But Talansky was able to use the deficit to motivate himself in the final kilometres of the race.
"Today was a good day for me," Talansky said. "I came through the first lap, and I heard on the loudspeaker, just barely, that I didn't have the best time on the first lap.
"I didn't know it was Ben who had set the best time, and it definitely gave me some motivation. Going into that last 5km I let myself believe that it was possible to maybe come home with the jersey."
The win was an important one for Talansky before he heads back to Europe for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.
Talansky pulled out of the Tour of California on the first stage due to allergies. It was disappointing for the 26-year-old rider who makes his home in California as he could not ride for five days and wasn't even sure he would be able to compete in Chattanooga.
"The team kept nationals in the back of my mind," he said. "And when I was sick at home I was wondering how in the world in 10 days am I going to do a time trial. I don't want to come here and be embarrassed, honestly. When my health came back I was able to get some decent training in."
Like Kristin Armstrong (Twenty 16-ShoAir) in the women's race, Talansky and King started in the first wave of riders. The early start and finish time gave them a lot of time to reflect on their race until they heard the results.
"Talansky and I are sitting here, we went early in the race, so we are sitting here and talking about everything we could have done better," King said of their time on the hot seat.
"First and second, you can't complain about that. And I don't mind getting second to a teammate like Andrew. I'm proud of him. It's going to be cool seeing him take that jersey back to Europe. I'm glad it's in the team."
The women's 111.5km road race starts Monday, May 25 at 9 a.m. The men start their 179.3km road race at 1:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more details about Monday's livestream here on Cyclingnews.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling||0:38:48|
|2||Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling||0:00:10|
|3||David Williams (USA) Jamis Hagens Berman||0:00:12|
|4||Thomas Zirbel (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:00:43|
|5||Michael Olheiser (USA) Lupus Racing Team||0:01:28|
|6||Gregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Cycling Team|
|7||Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing||0:01:31|
|8||Logan Loader (USA) Amore e Vita - Selle SMP||0:01:41|
|9||Evan Huffman (USA) Team SmartStop||0:01:49|
|10||Scott Zwizanski (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:01:50|
|11||Kyle Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team||0:02:20|
|12||Mac Brennan (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:02:23|
|13||Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:02:35|
|14||Joseph Schmalz (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:02:54|
|15||Timothy Rugg (USA) Lupus Racing Team||0:02:55|
|16||Curtis White (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:03:11|
|17||Maxim Jenkins (USA) Astellas Cycling Team||0:03:40|
|18||Jake Silverberg (USA) Astellas Cycling Team||0:03:46|
|19||Jonathan Hornbeck (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:04:42|
|20||Oliver Flautt (USA) Lupus Racing Team||0:05:07|
|21||Charlie Hough (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:13:36|