The crux of Andrew Talansky’s season approaches. The Tour de France looms. With it comes an opportunity to leave behind a forgettable spring, and roll forward on the momentum he regained with a successful Amgen Tour of California weeks ago.
Next up is the Tour du Suisse, which is not usually part of the Cannondale rider’s Tour de France preparation. This year, it’s an opportunity to get some needed results and fine-tune his form before the Tour begins. He has no plans to keep his matchbook dry. “There’s maybe two guys in the world who can say they’re holding back for the Tour, and the irony is that they rarely ever hold back,” Talansky said.
“I’ve shown up with my best form of my life for the Tour, then been out of the Tour because of crashes or whatever else,” he said. “So I think when you feel good, you have to take the opportunity.”
Two years ago, Talansky took just such an opportunity and rode to overall victory at the Critérium to Dauphiné, a race that has been his preferred Tour prep for years.
Given his success at the Dauphiné why change? “Variety,” he said. “I really wanted to race California this year with the spring I had. I thought it would be nice to get things going again. Suisse and California fit together really nicely.”
Racing in California and then going to France for the Dauphiné did not fit into Talansky’s schedule as well as he would have liked. “Recovery, training, then going to the Dauphiné, I didn’t really see how to fit that in [to the schedule] ideally, whereas Suisse and California fit together really nicely.”
Last month, Talansky rode the California race in support of teammate Lawson Craddock, but was able to get some good individual results, including second place in the time trial, ahead of Taylor Phinney and right behind Phinney’s Australian teammate Rohan Dennis. Up stage 3’s final climb in Santa Barbara, he rode for Craddock but also held on for a top-10 finish of his own.
They were important results following a spring campaign mostly devoid of success. His early season was marred by a mysterious problem, one he prefers to keep to himself.
“There are always reasons, but I don’t really feel the need to go into them,” he said of his lack of form. “The thing is, it was what it was, the results were what they were … or weren’t. Now, that’s in the past, and I’m happy to kind of turn the page on that and build from here on.”
California was the first indication that he’d turned a corner. Suisse, if it goes well, will put the finish straight in sight.
Caley Fretz contributed to this report.