Former Bobcats riding strong in the Tour de France

Former Bobcats riding strong in the Tour de France

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lees-McRae College is proud to support two former Bobcat cyclists as they ride in the Tour de France. Brent Bookwalter '06 (BMC Racing) is making his third appearance in this historic race, while newcomer Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) is making his first appearance. As of July 3, Bookwalter and Talansky are riding in 106th and 16th place, respectively. 

During his time at Lees-McRae, Bookwalter studied Biology and won nine collegiate national titles for the Bobcats. He now resides in Asheville with his wife, fellow professional cyclist Jamie. Bookwalter has been a regular on the professional circuit since 2005 and rode for the winning Tour de France team in 2011. In addition to his many accolades, Bookwalter won the National Under-23 Time Trial Championships. 

As a Bobcat, Talansky, who attended Lees-McRae from 2007-2008, won the criterium and the individual omnium at the 2008 Collegiate Road Nationals. Talansky was also interested in studying journalism, but maintained a clear focus on his career as a professional cyclist. That is proving to be a very successful venture for the young cyclist. In addition to riding in his first Tour de France and maintaining his place in the top 25, he was also claimed second place and was named Best Young Rider at Paris-Nice earlier this year. At only 24 years old, Talansky is in his third year as a professional cyclist.

This is the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, and amidst this 2,157-mile race, Bookwalter and Talansky are two of only six American riders. 

For information about cycling at Lees-McRae College, please contact the Athletics Department at 828-898-8725.

- LMC -