NICE, France --- Former Lees-McRae College cyclist Andrew Talansky closed out Paris-Nice in style on Sunday, finishing second overall and just 55 seconds behind general classification winner Richie Porte to earn the white jersey as the Best Young Rider.
Talansky put together his best performance as a pro over the course of the seven-stage race from Houilles (just outside of Paris) to Nice, which covers a total distance of 1,174 kilometers (approx. 729.5 miles).
The American international won a cold and rainy third stage on Wednesday, March 6, taking the stage with a time of 4:06:15 to claim the overall lead. Talansky held on to the yellow jersey heading into the decisive fifth stage on Friday, when Porte seized control with wins in the fifth and seventh stages to top the overall podium just seconds ahead of Talansky.
While competing at Lees-McRae, Talansky made his name with the Bobcats as a member of the 2008 Division I Road National Championship team. That same year, he also won the Division I Men's Road Race National title and the overall Division I Individual Omnium National title.
The newly crowned Best Young Rider wasn't the only Bobcat in the pack. Fellow Lees-McRae cyclist, Brent Bookwalter '06, was in pursuit of the win as well. Bookwalter, a veteran rider for BMC Racing, finished in 82nd place.
- LMC -