LMC cyclists in 22nd and 85th place in Tour de France

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Jul. 11, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 11, 2013
LMC cyclists in 22nd and 85th place in Tour de France

Lees-McRae College cycling alumnus Brent Bookwalter, right, rides with LMC cyclists Eric Thompson, Brad Perley and Brian Sheedy.

Photo by Phillip Greene

After the completion of nine stages, Lees-McRae College alumni Brent Bookwalter and Andrew Talansky are holding strong in 22nd and 85th place, respectively, in the Tour de France as they welcomed the first day of rest earlier this week.

As the historic event celebrates its 100th anniversary, the riders continue pacing through the 3,404-kilometer race, which will conclude on Sunday, July 21.

The tour includes 21 stages (seven flat, five hilly, six mountain, two individual time trials, one team time trial and two rest days) during the course of 23 days.

“It’s very rewarding to watch our young men who wore the green and gold kits for Lees-McRae compete on the highest stage of their sport in the Tour de France,” said Craig McPhail, director of athletics for Lees-McRae College. “It’s a tribute to our staff who recruited them, our area in which they trained and developed, as well as our community which got the chance to watch and ride with both Brent and Andrew.”

Since the race began on June 28, both Bookwalter and Talansky have endured successes and a few scary moments.

During stage 5, Bookwalter, who is with BMC Racing, was involved in a crash with several other riders. A spokesperson for the BMC Racing Team told media, “(Bookwalter) was taking a drink when the rider in front of him suddenly swerved. (Bookwalter) only had one hand on the handlebars at the time, so (he) couldn’t react like normal. (He has) a little bit of soreness and lost a little bit of skin, but (he is) OK.”

Bookwalter has also seen many places in the standings, moving from as far back as 111th place all the way to his current standing in 85th. Talansky has been making moves, as well. He began further back in 67th place and has made it up as far as 12th place. He’s currently riding in 22nd.

After making it to 12th place at the end of the first mountain stage, Talansky, who is with Garmin Sharp, told Cycling News, “I’m not with the Top 5 guys right here, right now, but I am kicking around in the front group, and I can hang on. Mentally, knowing that is helpful.”

Keep an eye on the Lees-McRae College Athletics Facebook page for updates on the riders’ progress. For information about cycling at Lees-McRae College, contact the athletics department at (828) 898-8725.

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