Courtesy of VeloNews.com, by Andrew Hood
Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) is cooling his jets at altitude in Spain's Sierra Nevada ahead of his likely Tour de France debut.
The third-year pro told VeloNews he's tanned, rested, and ready for the Tour, which begins June 29 in Corsica.
"I've been doing some light training work. I've been recovering. Between now and the Tour, I'll put in a few rides to put the cherry on top," Talansky said via telephone. "All the work is done."
After coming out of the Critérium du Dauphiné with a confidence-boosting third-place ride up the Risoul summit high in the French Alps, Talansky said the next two weeks are all about recovery and maintaining his fitness.
He's also hoping some recent health setbacks are behind him. Like many, he's been swarmed by Europe's brutally high pollen count, and he was also zapped by a stomach bug just before the start of the Dauphiné.
"I was sick before the race. I had a pretty intense stomach flu. I was throwing up, I had a fever, in bed all day," he said. "There was no way I was going to skip the race, but I knew I wouldn't have race legs for a few days. When something like that happens, when you've put in the work, you just have to ride through it, and the legs come back in a few days once you get your health back."
That's exactly what happened. He struggled early in the Dauphiné but was pleased to watch Australian teammate Dennis Rohan take the leader's jersey and ride into the top-10 overall.
As Talansky's strength came back, so did his legs. By the final stage, he was the only rider who could follow the surges of Chris Froome and Richie Porte as the Sky riders attacked up the twisting switchbacks at the Risoul summit.
He finished third in the stage, right with Froome, and seven seconds ahead of Porte.
"On that final day, I was the only rider to able to get up to Richie and Froome once they went hard," Talansky said. "That was motivating, because that's not something anyone's done this year."
Although Garmin's Tour roster is still not yet finalized, Talansky's been training since November to hit peak fitness for the Tour.
He will stay at Spain's Sierra Nevada, which tops out at 2,800 meters, before a brief trip back to Girona ahead of a flight to Corsica.
"I am up here to keep the altitude topped off. I was at Lake Tahoe a few weeks before the Dauphiné and I want to carry the effects of altitude into the Tour," he said. "I am excited about the Tour. It's something I've been working toward for a long time."