Everybody knew Andrew Talansky could climb, but the way he usurped Contador and Froome on the final day was still hugely impressive. The American powered to the biggest victory of his career to date, finishing fourth on the final stage after joining a strong breakaway group.
As those around him wavered, Talanksy powered on with another great display of his climbing ability – something he had already showed on Finaut-Emosson on stage seven, and on the Col du Beal on stage two.
At the latter, he recovered superbly from being dropped by Froome’s constant attacking to take fifth on the stage, while he achieved the same result on stage seven thanks to the support of team-mate Ryder Hesjedal.
The 25-year-old was tenth overall at last year’s Tour de France and is one of a number of promising young riders with Garmin-Sharp – Dan Martin, Rohan Dennis, Ramunas Navardauskas among the others.
But could this now be the year he steps it up? His first major WorldTour win – after second places at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie – prompted to break down in tears as he realised he had won. It was a touching scene as one of the peloton’s most promising young riders took the next big step in his career.
Talansky proved he can climb with the best, as he had earlier done in Catalunya, while he is certainly no mug when it comes to time trialling. At the very least, the white jersey should be within his grasp in France.