Talansky Breaks Away to Overall Win in Dauphine Libere
Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp-POC) has won the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine Libere. The American jumped into the break of the day and held off yellow jersey Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) to take the overall win. Mikel Nieve (Sky) won Stage 8, a mountainous, 131.5-km ride from Megeve to Courchevel, in 3:20:29. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) finished second at 0:03, and Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) took third at 0:05. Talansky finished fourth at 0:09 to take the race from Contador.
On the day’s first climb, the Category 2 Cote de Domancy, 23 riders got clear. They were David Lopez, Nieve, and Richie Porte (all from Sky); Tanel Kangert and Liewve Westra (both from Astana); Daniel Navarro and Yoann Bagot (Cofidis); Yates; Igor Anton and John Gadret (both from Movistar); Bardet, Alexis Gougeard, and Jean-Christoph Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale); Thomas Voeckler (Europcar); Jurgen van den Broeck and Tony Gallopin (both from Lotto-Belisol); Kristjan Koren (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team); Tejay van Garderen (Team BMC Racing); Yuri Trofimov (Katusha); Ryder Hesjedal and Talansky (Garmin-Sharp-POC); Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida); and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura). In addition to Talansky, Van den Broeck, Bardet, and Yates, who began the day in fifth, seventh, and 10th, respectively, overall, made this move a dangerous one.
The fugitives ran up at 3:20 lead, which put Talansky into the race lead and spurred Tinkoff-Saxo Bank and Sky to start chasing. On the Category 1 Col des Saisies, Porte and Westra dropped back as Chris Froome (Sky) and three teammates attacked. The resulting combustion formed a chase group of 18 riders. They were Froome, Vasily Kiriyenka, Danny Pate, Porte, and Geraint Thomas (all from Sky); Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang (both from Astana); Contador; Luis Mate (Cofidis); Mickael Cherel and Ben Gastauer (both from Ag2r-La Mondiale); Sebastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling); Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team); Daniel Moreno (Katusha); Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Quick Step); Wilco Kelderman and Martijn Keizer (both from Belkin); and Leopold Konig (NetApp-Endura). At the summit, the break trailed the chase group by 2:35, and with 50 km left, the escapees led the pursuit by a little less than two minutes. Seventeen km later, the gap had narrowed to one minute.
Hesjedal went to the front of the break and started hammering. Behind, Nibali attacked. On the Category 1 Cote de Montagny, the first of two Category 1 ascents that would end the stage, rain began to fall and Contador attacked. Froome, who began the day in second overall at 0:08 but who was suffering from injuries sustained in a Stage 5 crash, did not follow. With 20 km remaining, the break led Nibali and Kelderman by 1:09, Contador by 2:10, and Froome by 2:34. Ten km later, Contador was 1:11 behind Talansky’s group, and Froome was at 2:54.
Nibali and Kelderman closed on Talansky’s group, and with four km left, Contador was at 0:56. Nieve attacked to get a stage win for himself and his team. Nibali fell off of the pace, but Kelderman continued to pursue the leaders. Contador jumped out of the saddle in a last-ditch attempt to save his yellow jersey, but Talansky made a last-ditch effort of his own to take the overall. Froome rolled home at 5:05 and settled for 12th place on GC.
Garmin-Sharp-POC directeur sportif Geert Van Bondt attributed the team’s success to teamwork. “We knew coming in that today’s short, hilly stage could be dangerous,” Van Bondt said. “After 20 km, there was a short hard climb, where there were many attacks and a group of 21 riders went clear. Andrew and Ryder were in it, so it was the perfect situation for us. Ryder did an amazing job helping Andrew all day and all week. Then, at 20 km to go, we told Andrew that he had to do his own time trial and give everything and go for the GC win. He did it, and he showed today that he is a true champion. We are very happy and proud of this win.”
Talansky won the Dauphine Libere by 0:27 over Contador and 0:35 over Van den Broeck. We will see many of the riders in the Dauphine Libere in the Tour de France. How will they fare? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!