Peter Hymas at cyclingnews had a great interview with Garmin-Sharp’s Andrew Talansky. What came out of that talk was further proof that Talansky is a leader both on and off the bike.
In his first Tour de France, Talansky rode a smart, consistent and aggressive race for three weeks, getting stronger over time and nailing a top ten result. Off the bike, he continues to prove he’s a leader who is not afraid to speak his mind on the issues that affect pro cycling.
In the interview Talansky is outspoken in his belief that Chris Froome won the tour clean and that the treatment Froome received from booing fans and disbelieving media was unfair and disrespectful.
To quote Talansky from the interview: “It’s hard to see somebody that you respect so much and you draw inspiration from in the amount of work he’s put in, not just this year but in the past, to build to this point and the way he’s won the races this year and then to be winning the biggest race in the world – I’m sure one of his dreams coming true – and just to be questioned over and over and have people booing him on the course, it’s not the right way to treat someone.”
Part of Talansky’s progression toward grand tour winner is how he handles a leadership role. Both on and off the bike, he continues to show he has what it takes. He’s articulate, insightful and confident when he handles the media. I got the sense at Le Tour that he enjoys the buzz of attention and draws some extra energy from the spotlight.
Young riders often talk about earning the respect of the peloton and establishing their place in the sport. Talansky keeps moving himself further to the front. His support for cleaning cycling and Froome and Porte of Sky is just another sign of guy who is confident enough to call his own shoots.
Let’s not forget the why Talansky slammed Andy Jacques Maynes last year after the UC domestic rider said on twitter that everyone who races in Europe had done drugs at some point. Talansky smacked him down so hard I bet Andy’s face still stings a year later.
His response read in part: I would like to call out Andy Jacques-Maynes — you can put this specifically — he put something in Twitter. I have raced with him in California. He went on Twitter and said that everyone who races in Europe has done drugs at some point. That is such an inaccurate statement, whether he intended to, he was implying that me, Phinney, Tejay, Stetina, Howes, that we’re all using drugs. He’s part of the problem in this sport. If you want to make an accusation, then you have evidence, but to make a blanket statement, in a public forum, from a so-called professional cyclist, I find it disturbing. Then he followed it up that he has exceptional physiology and what we do seems impossible.”
It’s great to see that the culture of pro cycling has profoundly changed. The days of omertà are almost over and the last riders of that dark generation like Andreas Kloden are out of a contract and close to retirement.
Chapeau to Talansky for not just walking the walk but talking it, too.