Talansky back in the hunt for Tour de France white jersey

Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) was left frustrated by his third place on stage 14 of the Tour de France but the American’s ride moved in back into contention for the white jersey.

Coming into today’s stage Talansky was 8:27 down on Michal Kwiatkowski. However, the American managed to slip clear and into the stage winning break. He is now just 1:10 down on Michal Kwiatkowski, with Nairo Alexander Quintana 34 seconds ahead of the American in second place.

"I always thought that it would be a sprint like it was, with a smaller group and I chased a couple of moves down because nobody was going to do it. 50 meters of hesitation probably lost me a stage win in the Tour and that’s not a mistake I’ll ever make a again," he said, reflecting on the fact that he looked strong enough to win the sprint for the stage but misjudged his effort and started from too far back.

Talansky now sits 12th overall in the race with teammate Daniel Martin on 11th. Garmin Sharp has posted a rider in the top ten every year bar one since their debut Tour in 2008. Martin has already secured a stage in the Pyrenees and now the team must decide how they tackle the Alps. However, with Talansky dragging the white jersey back into contention they have added another possible target to their ambitions.

"We got in the break and we were riding all day and first and foremost we were trying to win a stage. Whatever the time was we weren’t really concerned with how far back the peloton or anyone else were," Talansky said.

Talansky’s chances of remaining in contention for white may well depend on how he recovers from today’s efforts. Sunday’s stage to Mont Ventoux may well see Quintana make a bid for the maillot jaune with Movistar now completely committed to his GC ambitions after Alejandro Valverde dropped out of contention.

"It’s just about recovery tonight. It took a couple of hard hours to establish the break and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow. But Ventoux is a nice climb and I’ll definitely do all I can."

"I was aggressive today to try and get in that move and I’ll definitely [try], now that white is back on the radar. I’ll have to see how tomorrow goes and the next week will be based off that. It’s nice to have a chance to be close to it again."

Speaking to Cyclingnews at the start of stage 13 on Friday Talansky admitted that the Alps suited his style more than the Pyrenees.

"I prefer the climbs in the Alps, the roads are longer and steadier and different to the Pyrenees. From a team perspective we’re just going to try and do what we did in the Pyrenees which was to animate the race," he told Cyclingnews.

And he indicated that a tactical assault on a stage win and white jersey would be more of an incentive than a fight for 20th in GC. However Talansky and the Garmin management will need to balance the hunt for stages, white and a push for the top ten once again.

"I’m not a person who is going to sit here and race for 13th or 18th in GC. That’s not a goal. I think that is what’s wrong with half the people. I think if you’re top ten in the Tour de France, that’s really respectable achievement but racing for 20th or 25th doesn’t really matter."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.