June 26, 2013

Garmin leads the field, Stage 5 Paris-Nice.     Photo: Team Garmin-Sharp Photos

Andrew Talansky to Head Garmin-Sharp

Will have low-pressure leadership role

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.


    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Black Bear Breaks into Knoxville Zoo

Motives unknown

In yet another chapter of America’s ongoing animal uprising, Tennessee authorities are on the lookout for a black bear that attempted to break into the Knoxville Zoo Monday night. The bear’s motives remain unknown.

The fugitive, now known as "The Bear," was sighted by a zoo ranger scaling a 10-foot-tall chain link fence to gain entry to the facility. A count was taken of the zoo’s captive bears and it was determined none were missing, at which point officials began to search the zoo’s interior for the intruder. They came up empty handed.

Zoo spokeswoman Tina Rolen told KnoxNews in an interview that the bear likely escaped shortly after it made it inside. However, what the bear did in that short time, and whether the break-in was part of a larger plot, is still a mystery.

While no formal charges have been filed against the bear, authorities are keen to track it down before it strikes again. “We are also concerned about the welfare of our wandering bear,” said Rolin. “Who hopefully has made his way to a more rural area."


Fly sea beast....FLY!     Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

California Kayaker Escapes Shark Attack

Authorities won't close beach

A California kayaker had a lucky escape on Tuesday when he emerged unscathed from a great white shark attack. Micah Flansburg was paddling and fishing off Pacifica State Beach near San Francisco when the fish exploded out of the water and latched onto his boat.

"It looked just like the Discovery Channel," Flansburg told NBC. "Shark's eyes were rolled up in the back of his head. I saw his gums and all his fangs bared. His whole head was halfway out of the water." After shaking around the kayak for about ten seconds, the shark left Flansburg and swam away.

Police said that they believed the shark was a juvenile. Because the attack happened far offshore, authorities have not closed the beach.