Catching Up With Andrew Talansky
Yes, that’s Andrew Talansky, one of America’s most successful pro cyclists in recent times. Garmin professional team cyclist, top 10 finish in the 2013 Tour de France, 1st place winner of the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2014, 3rd overall for the 2016 Tour of Utah, 5th overall in Vuelta a España in 2016, 3rd overall Tour of California in 2017 and won stage five and many more top finishes. September 2017 came the announcement of retirement from professional cycling, October 2017 announces his intention to compete in professional triathlon.
How did a kid born in Manhattan and raised on an island near Miami, FL end up a world class cyclist who discovered the Sierras and became one of Pacos’ biggest fans?
It was in 2005 when seventeen year old Andrew was recovering from a running injury and someone suggested riding a bike while his body healed. Lucky for Andrew, Boris Fernandez was dating his mom Susan at the time. Boris was a dedicated triathlete and found a bike that a friend had actually thrown away. They recovered it from the dumpster and he not only tried the newly revived orange steel Cervello, but followed Boris on a 100 mile group ride. At the end of the ride, as he was feeling the fatigue and basically falling apart after so many miles, he realized he felt incredible inside and had loved every minute of the ride.
As Andrew’s passion grew and he continued to excel at races, he joined the local junior team called Team Laser sponsored by Laser International Freight owner Santi Gabino. Santi took interest in the young rider seeing great potential in his natural talents. Santi made sure Andrew could get to the races by helping with travel, hotels, meals and race entries. Andrew looks back on this time with great gratitude for Santi and all that he did to allow him to feed his hunger for the sport and his drive to compete.
The 2009 Tour de Nez brought Andrew to the Tahoe area for the first time. He was blown away by the area and was sure he wanted to spend more time in the Sierras. He also met his future wife Kate Fox during this visit, solidifying his decision to return to Tahoe/Truckee. Kate and Andrew are now married and have a son, Bodie. When it comes to support, Andrew’s wife Kate is number 1 and helps every step of the way.
In 2010, it was clear that Andrew was heading on the path to become a professional cyclist. He was picked up by the Cal-Giant Specialized team when team manager Anthony Gallino took a chance by enlisting young Talansky.
Within a year Andrew was on the Garmin professional team. His 7 years on this world class team has filled his mantle with iron as well as padding his frequent flier account for a lifetime.
Chance led Andrew to the bicycle and now passion is leading him to Ironman Triathlon. He just completed his first full in Whistler, Canada and it surpassed all his expectations of what it was going to be like. He is in love with it. He enjoys the new challenge and is figuring out how to balance all 3 sports. At Whistler he thought he would have to stop after the bike leg due to fatigue, but found himself completing the marathon. Andrew says, “In any endurance sport, a positive mindset is huge. I’ve always believed in it for time trial but I really tapped into it in Whistler. Even when I was feeling terrible in the last 5K, the positivity got me through it.” Andrew ended up with an overall 6th place finish.
Andrew has a trove of accomplishments, all before the age of 30. This man is pretty incredible. We look forward to following along as the next chapter unfolds.
Andrew has become a bit of a hero, an inspiration and a regular here in Truckee and he holds the number one spot on Strava for the Donner Summit Climb. Andrew says, “ I wanted to ride it under 13 minutes and I’m a few seconds over. Records are meant to be broken. I hope someone will break it.” Andrew lends a few words of advice for those ready to try for the Donner Summit record or just a personal best, “If you want a good time, you have to go in the morning before the wind picks up. Also, pacing — everyone says it, but it is key. You can't go all out in the first minute, it really hurts, it’s at altitude.”
Andrew found Pacos in 2009 and has not only gained the technical support that he needs , but also the community support from the master racers lending advice and encouragement and the crew members eager to share their wisdom. This helped Andrew along his path but he is quick to point out that it’s here for everyone, saying “Pacos embodies what Tahoe is all about. Everyone is always welcome. Everyone is treated the same and that’s a special environment.”
Andrew has had a lot of encouraging and supportive people in his life. With his soft nature and positive attitude we are lucky to have him spending more time around Truckee and in the shop. Thank you Andrew for pouring your trust into the Pacos crew. See you in the shop, on the road and early in the morning for a Donner Lake training swim.