Talansky celebrates stage 4 Tour de l'Ain.
I'm totally immersed in the book Argyle Armada by Mark Johnson. All about the interesting and often challenging intricacies of the unique Pro Cycling Team.
And as the Vuelta starts this Saturday, I couldn't help but think of a potential top five placing for ... Andrew Talansky.
He's another talented rider that's steadily climbing up the Garmin-Sharp ladder and his 2012 season has been very good. First overall Tour de l'Ain and Best Young Rider, Tour de Romandie (2nd on GC) & 8th Tour of Algave. Although, Talansky is flying under the radar with the likes of heavy favorites Contador and Froome going for the overall battle, a Talansky stage win and top five is possible...
Jonathan Vaughters believes in him and will put a pretty good group 'centered around his ambitions.' A good mix of talent and experience: Thomas Dekker, Koldo Fernadez, Michel Kreder, Christophe Le Mevel, Martijn Maaskant, Thomas Peterson & Johan Van Summeren. In fact, Talansky is the leader and with the Vuelta route designed for the climbers; 10 uphill finishes, 6 major mountain top finishes it will be ferocious.
The mountainous parcours would suit a billy goat and looks to be one if not the toughest Vuelta in history. I'm happy with the return of the dizzying Bola del Mundo summit, last climbed in 2010.
Advantage is that Talansky is not a heavy favorite for the GC, whilst two others will also be in the GC mix; Joaquin Rodriguez (2nd Giro) and Thomas De Gendt (3rd Giro). Andrew Talansky can upset the apple cart and go beyond his expectations... remember Ryder Hesjedal?
La Bola del Mundo...
The penultimate stage 20 Sept. 8: 169.5km. The final summit finish above the Navacarrada Pass, north of Madrid. 3kms at 12.4%, max 21% The road is paved, with rough cement, no asphalt and not open to regular road traffic. So narrow and steep, cars are not allowed. Instead mechanics will follow with spare bikes and wheels.
Ex-pro Eduardo Chozas said...
The problem won't be punctures, because that's difficult when you're going 12kph, or even 10kph on the steepest ramps. The danger is if you stop.
La Bola del Mundo: 3kms of suffering... fun for fans!