A great week for the argyle in Romandie was capped off by Andrew Talansky showing the cycling world just what he can do. He nearly won the mountain time trial, resulting in second overall and securing the best young rider jersey. Allan Peiper sent this report.
We have had a great week here. Lots of laughing and a good vibe in the team. Some of the riders like Hesjedal, Vande Velde, Rasmussen and Stetina getting the final competition in before the Giro.
Martin in his final spring race the week after a super 5th place in Liege last sunday. Talansky coming into form for California and Navardauskas coming back from a collarbone injury.
We started with Dan Martin our clear leader and Talansky protected. Hesjedal was to take a back seat saving energy for the Giro.
Alex Rasmussen was our man for the prologue and he had a little bad luck with rain just as he rode as did other favourites but finished ninth against riders who rode in the dry. Ryder did a couple of good sprints the first days and showed his form with late attacks on stage one.
Peter Stetina lit it up at the foot of the final climb on stage 3 after Rasmussen and Navardauskas with help of two Rabo’s chased down the break to set up Ryder for the sprint.
Talansky had orders to do nothing but save energy and at 100m from the finish realized he was sprinting for first and just missed third by a whisker and the all so important time bonus but the writing was on the wall, he was in form and JV had already predicted that before the week.
In yesterday’s Queen stage with three first category climbs we tried to make it hard for Sky and Stetina went away with a group on the third last climb only to be chased and caught by Sky at the foot of the last climb.
Talansky and Martin went over the top of. The last climb with the leaders and Wiggins was isolated for a moment there before regroupment of 30 riders for the last 9km run in to the finish.
Today with the TT at over 1000 meters altitude and a strong wind blowing the 16km technical course with its fast descent at the start and 5km 10% climb made making choices for bikes and wheels hard.
Andrew took advice from our sports science guy Robby Ketchell and ran with TT bike and full back wheel. After the first descent of 3km Andrew was 12 seconds up on Wiggins and 10 on Evans so he was moving!
He hit the climb hard and bottomed a little half way up before rallying the last km to the top getting to the split 1s behind Porte. Knowing he was riding for fastest time gave him wings and technically he was perfect in the run in and as he crossed the line 15s up on Porte we had the right to hope for the win.
Wiggins was the only one who could disrupt the joy and he did that crossing the line less than one second ahead of Andrew. I must admit being close to tears at being so close after such a great ride. Andrew was distraught but that shifted to joy as he realized second to Wiggins in the same time plus second overall was a big statement.
Its great to be a part of the first real success of young riders. Their total disbelief and joy at those first successes are amazing to be a part of.
In the final analysis we capped off a strong week as a team, riding for the win and being in the action every day. What a great way to end the week here in Romandie with Andrew Talansky second at less than one second to Wiggins and second in the overall GC while being best young rider!
This kid Talansky is the coming man and we have the depth behind him to support that in the future!
More photos from the Tour de Romandie: