In the biggest win of the young American's career, Andrew Talansky won the the Criterium du Dauphine—widely considered to be the most important tune-up race ahead of the Tour de France—Sunday. On the final day of the eight-stage race, the 25-year-old Garmin-Sharp rider jumped into the early breakaway with teammate and former Tour of Italy winner Ryder Hesjedal to gap his main rivals.
As pre-race favorites Alberto Contador and Chris Froome, both former winners of the Tour de France, debated who was responsible for chasing down the American, Talansky continued to power on the climbs and flash the descents, eventually putting 1:14 into Contador and over five minutes into Froome.
“You put your life into something—the sacrifices, the training, the times when you crash or get sick—but it’s moments like this that make everything worth it,” Talansky told VeloNews. “Just one moment like this makes you forget it all. This is why we do this, for moments like today.”
After his tenth-place finish at his Tour debut last year, Talansky was not expected to contest for the podium in this year's Tour against Froome and Contador, but his victory over some of the sport's top talents at the Dauphine will likely raise hopes.