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American Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) announced Tuesday via social media that he is ending his professional racing career at just 28 years old.
Talansky, who became a father in February, won the queen stage of the Amgen Tour of California in May, finishing third overall. Though he headed to the Tour de France in July as co-leader with teammate Rigoberto Uran, he rode anonymously and ultimately took on a support role for Uran, who finished second.
Talansky came into cycling as a junior in Miami, Florida. A self-described “disastrous” stint with Amore-Vita during the first half of 2009 led to the American riding with the amateur Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized team in 2010, where he won a U23 National TT title, had a breakthrough ride at the Tour of the Gila, and finished second overall at the Tour de l’Avenir. In July 2010 he signed with Slipstream Sports, the organization where he rode at the WorldTour level from 2011 through 2017.
He finished seventh overall in his second Grand Tour, the 2012 Vuelta a España, and backed that up by finishing 10th in his Tour de France debut, in 2013. Last year he placed fifth overall at the Vuelta a España. His biggest win came at the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine, ahead of Alberto Contador and Jurgen Van Den Broeck.
He also finished second overall at the 2012 Tour de Romandie, behind Bradley Wiggins, and was the 2015 U.S. national time trial champion.
In an interview with CyclingTips at the 2016 Amgen Tour of California, Talansky said that he’d had a rough spring, citing both illness and personal reasons that he preferred not to delve into.
“Sometimes there are things and factors out of your control that happen,” he said. “Same way I did when I was younger, to get onto a World Tour team, and to get where I am, you just have to kind of battle through it, and if you can get through it, I think you come out better for it. The journey doesn’t always look like what you expect, sometimes. I mean, I would say for me, 99 percent of the time, the way I get somewhere doesn’t look like how you might plot it out on paper.
“But at the end of the day, when I set out goals and I have things I want to achieve, I really don’t stop until I do. I think people who truly know me, they know that about me, and people who truly know me haven’t lost any faith or any belief in my ability or what I can accomplish in this sport. And, to the people who have, they really don’t matter to me.”
Talansky’s 2017 has had highs — a stage win and podium finish at California — but also lows, including DNFs at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Vuelta al Pais Vasco, and a lackluster Tour. He was not selected for Cannondale-Drapac’s Vuelta squad, a race where he has twice finished in the top 10 overall.
On August 27, Cannondale-Drapac announced that all of its riders had been released from their contracts, citing sponsorship struggles. Team manager Jonathan Vaughters has since hinted that the team may have found a way to continue in 2018.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Talansky wrote that it was “time to bring down the curtain on my career as a professional cyclist.”
“After a great deal of thought and consideration, it is time to bring down the curtain on my career as a professional cyclist. It has been a truly incredible ride. I’ll miss my teammates and the camaraderie on and off the bike, but most of all I’m going to miss the fans. Few sports put its fans closer to the action, which is a large part of what makes pro cycling so special. Your support and encouragement, on good days and bad, has meant more to me than I can express.
“I’ve lived out a dream and I have Slipstream Sports and you, the fans, to thank for that. While this is the end of the road for my pro cycling career, it’s also a new beginning to follow my passion, and I look forward to sharing more soon. Until then, on behalf of myself and my family, thanks for seven great years.”
When contacted by CyclingTips, Talansky and Vaughters were not immediately available for comment.