By Andrew Hood, Velo News. Photo by Graham Watson.
FOUGERES, France (VN) — Andrew Talansky stepped out of the Garmin-Sharp team bus Thursday morning to find a gaggle of racing fans asking him for an autograph.
Still largely off the radar among French fans, Talansky's profile is sure to rise as the Tour will become his principal goal in the coming years.
Midway through his first Tour, Talansky posted a strong performance in Wednesday's time trial, stopping the clock in 12th at 2:08 back.
"I felt good. The first 5km with those rollers is not my kind of TT, but once we got on the flatter roads, I could settle in," Talansky told VeloNews. "I generally don't like flat TTs like that, so when you're into 10 days of a grand tour, guys are kind of tired."
Talansky's strong time trial performance, when he rode faster than such GC candidates as Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), gives him a nice boost going into the second half of the Tour.
"I was really happy on that course," he said. "It bodes well for the second TT."
Talansky endured the Pyrénées, riding into contention for the white jersey after the first mountain stage, only to see it slip away when he was unable to stay with the front group in Sunday's stage. His teammate Dan Martin attacked over the final climb to win that day.
With his time trial ride, Talansky has settled into 24th overall at 13:11 back.
"It's been difficult for everyone," he said. "I am recovering well, and I am going to be good in the final week of the mountains, just like I thought I would be."
Going into the second half of the Tour, Talansky said Garmin would continue to play the role of aggressors.
On the GC front, Martin lost time in the time trial to slip from eighth to 13th at 5:52 back, but Garmin will be riding to keep the Irishman protected going into the mountainous final week.
"The goal this week is to get to Mont Ventoux [in Sunday's stage 15] smoothly and safely, and to keep on animating the race like we have been," Talansky said.