Tyler Farrar begins a new chapter in his life in 2015, as he switches Garmin-Sharp for ProContinental team MTN-Qhubeka. The American had already told Cyclingnews earlier this month that he would leave Garmin seven seasons, but it was only on Tuesday that his destination became clear.
"I think it came to a time in my life when I think I needed a new challenge," Farrar told Cyclingnews ahead of stage 4 of the Tour of Britain. "I've been with Garmin for seven years now, that's a long time. I have really enjoyed my time here, but sometimes you need to take on something new."
Farrar turned professional in 2006, with Cofidis, after several seasons at Continental level in the US. He spent two years at the French team and went on to join Jonathan Vaughters' squad in 2008, where he has since won stages of all three Grand Tours.
Since his Tour de France stage win at the 2011 Tour de France, Farrar's career has stagnated a little. He had a mixed classics season this year, finishing second at Dwars door Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs but crashing out at Gent-Wevelgem. He hopes that, like Gerald Ciolek before him, making the move to the lesser-known team can do good things for his career.
"It's good to have the new challenge. It will be a little strange at first, putting on a different jersey, but I think I will get used to it. I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I spoke to the team over the summer and I like the sound of what they want to do. It is something that excites me. They are building a very strong team and I think if we can work together then we can be great in the sprints."
Since taking on interim general manager Brian Smith, MTN-Qhubeka has been on a signing spree of late that has seen them acquire a number of WorldTour riders. The list of new arrivals includes Edvald Boasson Hagen from Team Sky and Theo Bos, who join a roster that already contains Milan-San Remo winner Ciolek. In its hunt to gain entry to the Tour de France, MTN-Qhubeka has become a team heavily focused on the sprints.
"The big goal for me will be the classics and when you look at who they've got now I think that we've got a very good team for there," explained Farrar. "I think that we will be sharing the leadership. Sometimes I will be the leader and sometimes I will be working for Edvald or Gerald."
Farrar is currently riding at the Tour of Britain, where he took fourth in the opening two sprint stages. With the hardest stage done, the sprinters should come to the fore once again, where Farrar hopes to put a nice shine on the end of his Garmin-Sharp career.
"The next stages are tough. Yesterday was a lot harder than we expected. Nothing is ever really flat here. I will go for it on the days that suit me. I think that the next few days might be too hard to for likes of [Marcel] Kittel. I think I might have a chance there."