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TALANSKY REMAINS DEFIANT

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GERARDMER, France, July 12, 2014  – American Tour de France hope Andrew Talansky remained defiant despite suffering another crash on Saturday’s eighth stage.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

Talansky crashed on the fast descent of the Col de Grosse Pierre in the final 10km as rain made the bends slippery. He was then delayed in setting off again because of a mechanical problem with his bike and eventually rolled over the line 35th, having lost more than two minutes to leader Vincenzo Nibali. He is now 16th overall at 4:22. It was his second crash in successive days having gone down in the sprint finish on Friday.

But the 25-year-old believes he still has a lot he can achieve on this Tour. “Here on @Ride_Argyle we never give up. This race is 3 weeks long, plenty of racing still to be done and plenty of time to achieve our goals,” he said on Twitter.  The Garmin-Sharp leader had come into the Tour in fine form after winning last month’s Criterium du Dauphine. But he lost around two minutes to Nibali on Wednesday’s cobbled stage after crashing when with the leading group. Saturday’s crash was his third in four stages.   

Another American who had been struggling, BMC’s Tejay Van Garderen, had a better day on Saturday. He lost more than a minute after crashing late on in Friday’s stage but dropped just 20sec to Nibali on Saturday. He’s now up to 13th from 18th at the start of the day and 3:34 behind. “I am doing my best to brush it off and keep looking forward,” said Van Garderen about his crash.  “I think today I did a good job. But we have another couple of hard days before the rest day.”