8. Talansky rises; Tejay wins
In sharp contrast were breakout performances by two Americans from a very different time and place. Jonathan Vaughters calls him the “Pit Bull,” and in 2013, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) showed the world why. After posting impressive results in his first two seasons in the bigs, the 25-year-old raised his game yet again in 2013, winning a stage and riding to second overall at Paris-Nice.
Yet it was during an intense, hard-fought Tour debut that Talansky proved he has the guts and confidence to be a player. He never gave up, fighting all the way to Paris to snag a morale-boosting top-10 result.
It was equally as important a season for Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), who finally punched his way into the winner’s column. Ever since his impressive rookie season in 2010, when he quickly proved he has World Tour pedigree, van Garderen was growing desperate for a stage race victory after a growing list of podiums. He scored his first pro stage race wins in encouraging fashion at both the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.
Those W’s will help ease the pressure as Van Garderen rides into 2014 as BMC’s outright leader for the Tour. America’s GC hopes are secure with Talansky and Van Garderen, and 2013 proved decisive to both.
FILED UNDER: Commentary TAGS: Andrew Talansky / Brian Cookson / Carlos Betancur / Chris Froome / Chris Horner / Fabian Cancellara / Giro d'Italia / Lance Armstrong / Marcel Kittel / Mark Cavendish / Nairo Quintana / Operación Puerto / Peter Sagan / Rigoberto Urán / Rui Costa / Sergio Henao / Tejay Van Garderen / Tour de France / Vincenzo Nibali / Vuelta a España