After his winning ride in the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday, Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) will head to today’s Tre Valli Varesine in fine form as he prepares to tune his preparation for the Vuelta and world championships.
The American sprinter won his second Vattenfall title in as many years, and it marked a winning return to racing after a difficult July.
Farrar went into this year’s Tour de France as the man most likely to challenge Mark Cavendish’s superiority in the sprints but a crash on stage 2 wrecked his chances, and despite bravely continuing to race for two weeks with a fractured wrist, he was forced to pull out of the race with a week to go.
“My Tour was a bit of a disaster,” he told Cyclingnews. “So getting things back on track and getting a big win has helped me to feel solid and confident again going into the end of the season.”
After missing the final week of the Tour, Farrar took time to recover before making a comeback at the Tour of Denmark earlier in the month. However with his eyes firmly fixed on the Vuelta and then the worlds in Australia, the American is relishing his next set of goals.
“The two big remaining goals are the Vuelta and the Worlds and these one days races are final tuning before Spain starts, where I’ll be chasing some stages. Hopefully I can come out of there with good form,” he said.
The World Championships course is still unknown to most of the European peloton. When the course was announced it was perceived that the route favoured the bunch sprinters but since then perceptions have changed, with the consensus being that the course is too hard for a sprint. For now though, Farrar is reserving judgement until he sees the course but should it suit him that the US team will be working for him.
“I’ll finally get a look at the Worlds course instead of relying on second hand information and hopefully that will go well. Until I get there and see the course for myself l don’t know what to expect. At the start of the year everyone said it would be a guaranteed field sprint and now they’re saying the climbs are a bit harder and it could break up. The Worlds are always a little unpredictable so the main thing is to come out of the Vuelta with good form and hope for the best. I’ll take it seriously and go into it well prepared.”
Should the course prove too demanding for Farrar - who made a vast improvement in races like the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem this year – he’ll have no problems working for another rider.
“If we get down there and I don’t think the course suits me then we’ll adapt the tactics but with the potential for a field sprint I’m going to be one of the protected riders. There’s not many riders who can say they’ve been world champion so of course it’s something every professional dreams about.”
So far this year Farrar has won a total of seven races and he puts a lot of that down to the structural improvements made at Garmin-Transitions, who have built a leadout train around him. Maurilo Fischer and Robbie Hunter were both signed at the start of this year and both have played important roles, alongside stalwart Julian Dean.
“I’ve had fantastic support this year and can't complain,” he said. “I’ve had several guys riding for me in races where I can get a result. The team has really stepped up and stood behind me and I’ve had a few nice wins this year. I think we have a really strong leadout train but we still need to iron out some kinks. This is my first year riding with a leadout so I’m still learning too.”