Garmin rider becomes first American to win Scheldeprijs
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) took his biggest win in a spring campaign with Scheldeprijs and then declared that he's in the form of his life. The American sprinter timed his dash for the line perfectly, edging out Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Robert Förster (Team Milram) in an exciting finale. It was made even more impressive with Farrar competing and then conquering without the aid of a leadout in the final few kilometres.
Instead, Farrar sat patiently on the right wheels, admitting he had it ‘pretty easy' until the final 200 meters. He positioned himself on Wouter Weylandt's (Quick Step) back wheel and with the Belgian receiving a leadout from teammate Tom Boonen, the American burst through with Weylandt finishing fifth. Former world champion Boonen was left shaking his head as he crossed the line.
"It's a very special win for me," Farrar said after he crossed the line. "I've won some big races but I've never had a win in the Classics season so it's something special. I know I had a good chance though and this was one of my objectives for the spring."
Farrar had been left isolated after his entire team were forced to help HTC-Columbia and Lampre lead the chase after a break of eight riders built up a healthy advantage over the peloton.
"You see the work that everyone did today on my team and they were fantastic. It wasn't easy, they were a really strong breakaway so we had to ride hard with Columbia and we did everything to ensure it was a sprint. The last few kilometres were really hectic, it was so fast that all the teams were finding it hard to control it, but I guess luck was on my side today."
Farrar has taken a while to get going this year. He was disappointed with his performance in Milan-San Remo and wasn't able to claim a win in either the Tour of Oman or Tour of Qatar, despite being in several promising positions.
However his win in last week's Three Days of De Panne and strong showings in Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem seem to have ignited his confidence. It was a while before he started winning consistently in 2009 but when he did, he began a hugely successful winning streak that included a stage in the Vuelta a Espana and the Cyclassics Hamburg.
"I've won some big races but this is definitely the biggest win I've had in the spring so it is right up there," he said.
"It was something I was thinking about all winter. I didn't really feel super but the team was fantastic and as a sprinter you don't feel your legs in the last kilometre anyway."
"My form is about the best it's ever been before. I can't really ask for more than that."
Farrar's spring campaign will end at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, where he'll become a domestique deluxe for Martijn Maaskant and Johan Vansummeren. However with both riders showing little form so far this season Farrar may find himself in the role of team leader.
"Anything that happens there is a bonus but I hope to help Martijn and Johan," he said diplomatically. "We have two riders that have been in the top five there before and I'm there for them."
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