Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) is looking ahead after winning his first Grand Tour stage Wednesday at the Vuelta a España. He is aiming for the sprinters' one-day Classic, Paris-Tours, to top off what has already been an impressive season.
"My last objective for the year is Paris-Tours," Farrar told Cyclingnews. "The race really suits me well, I came pretty close last year. It will be a matter of my body holding up and having good legs, it's been a long season and the race is almost a month away."
Farrar, 25, raced his first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia, in May. He finished second four times: twice to Cavendish and Petacchi. He had similar results at the Tour de France, where he placed second twice to Cavendish. But in the Vuelta, he finally claimed his first Grand Tour stage win in Caravaca de la Cruz.
"It was fantastic," he continued. "It is something I have been chasing all season. I was starting to wonder if it would happen or not this year because I have had so many second places and I was running out of time in the Vuelta to make it happen. It was the last day possible and it came together for me."
Farrar progressed throughout the year, taking what was then his biggest win to date in stage three of Italy's Tirreno-Adriatico. Farrar won ahead of established sprinters Alessandro Petacchi, Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish.
After a string of second places in the Grand Tours, Farrar won the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany. His good form continued in the Eneco Tour, where he won three stages.
"I had a big win in March at Tirreno, but I have become better overall as a rider since then. In March I would not have been able to make it over the climb in that Vuelta stage I won. Getting into the Grand Tours and doing those types of races have raised my level."
Farrar pulled out of the Vuelta on yesterday's rest stage to prepare for the season finale. He said he could have finished, but it would have ruined his chances for Paris-Tours.
The October 11 race starts just south of Paris and finishes in France's university city on the Loire river, Tours. It covers 250 flat kilometres, but features several côtes toward the end that favour attacking riders.
Last year Farrar placed fifth in Paris-Tours. He won the group sprint behind the escape of four riders in his second appearance in the race.
Before Paris-Tours, Farrar will race the World Championships, September 27, as a helper for Team USA and then the Franco-Belge on October 1.
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