Talansky, Stevens take mountain stages, leads in France

Americans take two mountain stages to assume control

American riders won stages and took the overall leads in two French races Friday. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) won the fourth stage of the Tour de l’Ain in Septmoncel, while Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) did the same in stage 7 at the Route de France.

Talansky, who is riding the French tour in preparation for the Vuelta a España, now leads by 12 seconds over Sergio Pardilla (Movistar) with two stages remaining.

At La Planche des Belles Filles, Stevens beat American Kristin McGrath (U.S. National Team) on the stage and assumed the overall lead from McGrath’s teammate Amanda Miller. Fresh off the Olympic road race, Stevens leads Lise Olivier (Lotto-Belisol Ladies) after seven of nine stages.