July 04, 2011
Stage 3: Garmin doubles up as Farrar brings the fireworks
Tyler Farrar has been the future of American sprinting for the last few years, notching victories at the Vuelta in 2009 and two stages each in the Giro and Vuelta in 2010. In America's favorite bike race, he had come close, but never edged HTC's Mark Cavendish.
Monday, with the team still aglow from its first Tour win in Sunday's TTT, Farrar finally sealed the deal, riding a beautiful leadout from world champion and yellow jersey Thor Hushovd and Julian Dean to a resounding Garmin victory. At the line, Farrar saluted his late friend and training partner Wouter Weylandt, flashing a "W" with his hands.
Cavendish, the favorite for the stage win, managed 5th on the day after the rails came off the HTC train in the final 2 kilometers of the stage. To add insult to injury, the 10 green jersey points Cavendish had won in the day's intermediate sprint (and 4 to Hushovd) were nullified by Tour commissaires for a fairly mild bump between Hushovd and Cavendish when both wanted Philippe Gilbert's wheel.
“He took me out in the last corner. I was 40 meters behind out the last corner with no speed whatsoever. I went full gas, I gained 40 meters and finished with the front four and I gained points and it just shows my form.”
José Rojas, who I think of as the Spanish Joe Rogan, took over the green jersey with his 3rd place finish on the day. Hushovd holds yellow, Geraint Thomas holds white, and Gilbert keeps the polka-dots, on the strength of a single point earned in Stage 1.
The sacrificial break of the day featured Nicki Terpstra, Mikael Delage, Maxime Bouet, Ivan Gutierrez, and Ruben Perez. Delage would take the red combativity race number and points in the sprint and mountains competition for his efforts.
With the win, Farrar joins two select clubs: Americans with Tour stage wins, and Americans with stage wins in all three grand tours (the only other member is Zabriskie, with an asterisk for Tyler Hamilton, who tested positive for blood doping during the 2004 Vuelta in which he won Stage 8).
Top 10 (all same time):
1) Tyler Farrar, Garmin, in 4:40:21
2) Romain Feillu, Vacansoleil
3) Jose Rojas, Movistar
4) Sebastien Hinault, AG2R
5) Mark Cavendish, HTC
6) Thor Hushovd, Garmin
7) Julian Dean, Garmin
8) Borut Bozic, Vacansoleil
9) André Greipel, Omega Pharma
10) Jimmy Engoulvent, Saur-Sojasun
Updating the list of Americans with Tour stage wins
Depending on how you count Floyd Landis, Garmin's Tyler Farrar is the 10th or 11th American to win a Tour stage, and the first on July 4th.
- The list (alphabetically):
- Lance Armstrong
- Tyler Farrar
- Andy Hampsten
- Tyler Hamilton
- George Hincapie
- Floyd Landis *
- Levi Leipheimer
- Greg LeMond
- Davis Phinney
- Jeff Pierce
- Dave Zabriskie
* Landis, of course, had his victory in Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour vacated after testing positive for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio.
(I also added Farrar to the category so he shows up on the associated Wikipedia page.)
Posted by Frank Steele on July 4, 2011 in 2011 Stage 3, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Tyler Farrar, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 3 Preview: 198km, Olonne-sur-Mer to Redon
We'll finally seee a traditional stage for the sprinters today, and it's unlikely that their teams will give today's breaks a chance to survive.
The intermediate sprint is at 104 km/65 miles, and the green jersey hopefuls will have to decide once again whether to burn some of their finishing speed to chase for a boost in the overall competition.
One feature will be familiar to fans from Florida -- the biggest climb of the day is a 67-meter-high bridge, the 4th-Category Côte du Pont de Saint-Nazaire. It comes with 55km/34 miles to ride.
My Twitter stream has included some Gramin insiders predicting that, after breaking through with the big win yesterday, today will be Garmin's second-ever Tour stage win, with Thor Hushovd in yellow helping to lead out Tyler Farrar. I expect that's the team's plan, but I also expect that Mark Cavendish will score his 16th stage win.