MADRID (VN) – Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) takes motivation and confidence out of the Vuelta a España after riding into the top 10 in just the second grand tour of his brief, yet promising career.
The 23-year-old rubbed shoulders with the likes of Alberto Contador and Chris Froome from Pamplona to Madrid, soaking up the experience en route to finishing seventh overall. Speaking to VeloNews before the start of Sunday’s finale, Talansky said the Vuelta only fuels his ambitions for the future.
“There’s a sense of satisfaction,” Talansky said about making the top 10. “It’s been a really hard, difficult and trying three weeks, both physically and mentally. I endured situations that might have cracked me or made me stop completely just a year ago. It’s been a learning and eye-opening experience and it showed me of what I am capable of.”
Talansky was ever steady over the day-in, day-out battle, never truly having a bad day, and always fighting to keep alive his top-10 ambitions. He admits it was far from easy, but at the same time, he takes quiet confidence out of riding consistently through what universally is being hard as one of the hardest, most competitive Vuelta’s in years.
“I can see where I am compared to these guys like Contador and (Joaquim) Rodríguez. I know their performance here is at a higher level than I am right now,” he said. “I feel like in a couple of years, I will able to match that and do that over the course of three weeks. I am very excited about the future.”
Talansky ended the Vuelta on a high note, clawing his way back up one spot on the GC from eighth to seventh in Saturday’s wild ride up Bola del Mundo. He had slipped to eighth during Wednesday’s explosive stage to Fuente Dé, but he out-climbed Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) up Bola del Mundo on Saturday to regain seventh.
“I was seventh on Wednesday, but Ten Dam attacked and (Bauke) Mollema waited for him. That was a crazy day and I was upset to lose that place,” he said. “I had that in the back of my mind yesterday. I was only 10 seconds behind him, so I was happy to get that back.”
Despite reaching an important milestone in his career, there won’t be a wild celebration in Madrid tonight.
Talansky is set to race the pro team time trial world championship next weekend in Holland and then the Giro di Lombardia to close out what’s been a hugely successful season.
“Maybe we’ll have a nice team dinner tonight,” he said. “I cannot do too much, with the TTT next week. Maybe after Lombardia.”
Editor’s note: Check back to VeloNews.com on Monday for an in-depth interview with Talansky on his Vuelta experience.