This years Tour features one team and two individual time trials and four summit finishes, including atop the treeless moonscape of Mont Ventoux and the first-ever double ascent up the switchbacks of Alpe-dHuez. The final stage starts at the gardens of Versailles, crosses the Louvre courtyard and goes around the Arc de Triomphe.
Its somewhat heavy on climbing, but a balanced course, Talansky said. My strength is my ability to recover well. What I can do in one day I can replicate over three weeks.
Talansky prepared in the Sierra Nevada of Spain. He lives with Fox in Girona, home to a colony of riders. They grow tomatoes and zucchini in their garden, walk to coffee shops in town and listen to country music when Talansky isnt training, racing or sleeping.
When hes on the bike he is a totally different person, Fox said. At home, hes hilarious. Hes a character. Every day, he comes up with different dance moves for me and makes up songs.
His personality enables him to enter the Tour with a calm, peaceful approach.
Fox and Amick will attend Tuesdays stage in Nice. Fox and Talanskys father, Alan, who lives in California, will also be in Paris.
Im proud of him because he had the courage to follow his dream, Amick said. Its symbolic that its the 100th Tour, its Andrews first and its a new beginning for the sport.
When the season is over and Talansky returns home to Key Biscayne, he still goes on occasional 6:30 a.m. group rides along his familiar route over the Rickenbacker bridge where it all started, he said.
Its funny how it used to seem so monumental, Talansky said. Now, its like a speed bump.