Talansky holds off Contador to win Criterium
American Andrew Talansky holds off Alberto Contador to win Criterium du Dauphine on final day
Associated Press
2014-06-15 11:42 PM

COURCHEVEL, France (AP) -- American rider Andrew Talansky was the surprise winner of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday as he held off two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador in a gripping finale on the eighth stage.

The 25-year-old Talansky was in tears after it was confirmed he had won the race, when Contador crossed the line more than a minute after him.

Talansky was fourth on the day, seven seconds behind stage winner Mikel Nieve on the 131.5-kilometer (81.7-mile) trek from Megeve to Courchevel.

Contador was 27 seconds behind in the overall standings, with Jurgen Van den Broeck eight seconds further back in third.

Talansky had started the day in third place, 39 seconds behind Contador, who had an eight-second lead over defending champion Chris Froome.

Froome crossed the line more than five minutes behin Nieve, to finish the race 12th overall.

Talansky was in a breakaway group which escaped on the Cote de Domancy, the first of four climbs on the stage.

Their lead went out to more than three minutes before Froome and Contador led an attack from the peloton on the climb up the Col des Saisies

Contador made a solo attack on the penultimate climb up the Cote de Montagny and swiftly distanced Froome, while slashing the gap to the leaders.

The Spaniard managed to cut Talansky's advantage to less than a minute but had left it too late and a final burst from the Garmin Sharp cyclist on the ascent to the finish secured victory.

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