Ahead of the 100th edition of the Tour de France, team Garmin-Sharp confirmed that breakout American rider Andrew Talansky will be joining former Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal, and Liege-Baston-Liege winner Daniel Martin as a team leader. Unlike most teams, which settle on one dedicated leader ahead of the race, Garmin-Sharp will be taking a multi-pronged approach.
“We have a few guys capable of achieving that — Ryder’s won a Grand Tour and placed in the top 10 of the Tour de France; Andrew is young and while it’s his first Tour de France, he is coming off a great season; and Dan Martin is having a breakout year with his wins in Catalunya and Liege-Baston-Liege,” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters explained Wednesday. “We will protect our best GC options and see how the race shakes out. Our approach is a little unconventional, but we’ve managed to come up with surprises every year at the Tour and we’re hoping for the same as we head into Corsica.”
At 24, Talansky is set to make his Tour debut after a mixed early season. While he rode to a strong second-place finish at Paris-Nice, his performances in several pre-Tour races left some wondering about his form. Hesjedal will be looking to redeem his season. After winning the 2012 Giro d'Italia, he floundered in this year's Giro, eventually pulling out. He was also forced to abandon the Tour de Suisse after crashing.
The squad is rounded out by multiple Grand Tour stage-winner David Millar and Rohan Dennis, who led the Criterium du Dauphine in June. American Tyler Farrar, who won a stage of the 2011 Tour, was left off the squad.
Earlier this season, we spoke with Andrew Talansky about his goals and hopes for the 2013 season.