Tyler Farrar steadily proved himself throughout this year leading to wins in the Vattenfall one-day classic and a stage in the Vuelta a España. He's now ready for another big win, Sunday's Paris-Tours.
"It is a really beautiful race, a one-day classic that suits a sprinter. But it is never easy to win a classic, you need great condition and a little bit of luck. It is difficult to win two classics in one year, and it would be something amazing," Farrar told Cyclingnews.
USA's Farrar, 25, steadily progressed throughout this season. He won a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in March prior to racing his first of three Grand Tours. He finished second to established sprinters, Mark Cavendish and Alessandro Petacchi, twice each in the Giro d'Italia and twice second to Cavendish at the Tour de France.
He came away from the Tour with good form, won Germany's one-day classic, Vattenfall, and the Caravaca de la Cruz stage of the Vuelta a España. Last week, he won two stages and the overall of the Franco-Belge stage race.
"It is always good for the confidence to win some races, just to know my form is still there for the end of the season."
He lost two sprints in Franco-Belge to likely Paris-Tours rivals, one to Belgian Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and one to Argentinean Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank). He considers German André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) and Spaniard Oscar Freire (Rabobank) two of his other rivals.
Farrar first raced Paris-Tours in 2006 with French team Cofidis and he placed 63rd. He returned last year and won the bunch sprint for fifth.
The race runs 230 kilometres from Chartres, southwest of Paris, to Tours and features several côtes in the finale that can spoil the chances of a sprint finish.
"The cool thing about it is that is so unpredictable with the climbs at the end. It can kind of go either way, you saw that last year with a group of guys slipping away in the last 10 kilometres. The first half depends on the weather: last year, it was warm and calm, so we cruised, but if you have cross-winds and rain it makes for a harder race."
Belgian Philippe Gilbert won the race last year ahead of Belgian Jan Kuyckx and Frenchman Sébastien Turgot. This year's race is Farrar's last of the season, and he hopes it's win number 10.
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