Tyler Farrar's fantastic win in Lorca confirmed that the American from Garmin-Transitions is the most improved sprinter in professional cycling since he claimed his first Grand Tour victory at the Vuelta a España one year ago. Not only did he score for the seventh time this year, but Farrar also felt relieved after beating Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) for the first since the 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico.
"Of course it's always nice to win against the best sprinter in the world but it's even better to win a stage at the Vuelta. I'm very happy," said a delighted Farrar who put his duty at the Vuelta a España ahead of any concerns about the future.
"Winning always helps to build confidence," he said when asked about the world championships in Australia on October 3. "This is a huge objective but firstly, there are still a lot of sprints to come at the Vuelta. I'm already happy with one win. Any other one coming after today's would be a bonus."
Farrar's Garmin-Transitions team is also working on next year's roster. While Farrar and his teammates, including Julian Dean suffering from the consequences of his injury, were pedalling under the sweltering Spanish sun, reinforcements were announced with the arrival of Cervélo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler, Roger Hammond, Andreas Klier, Brett Lancaster, Daniel Lloyd and Gabriel Rasch in addition to Thor Hushovd. The Norwegian champion said, "I need these six guys on my side for the classics and I don't have any problem with becoming a teammate of Farrar who is an up and coming sprinter. He and I won't be in competition."
Hushovd hasn't taken part in the sprints in the early part of the Vuelta a España where he rides at the service of designated sprinter Theo Bos who finished ninth today.
"I know they're coming with us next year," the 26-year-old American said about the inclusion of seven riders from Cervélo in 2011. "But I don't have anything in mind yet but the Vuelta. There's a time for everything."
A more immediate concern will be Thursday's stage 6 which starts from Caravaca de la Cruz, the location of Farrar's first Grand Tour win in last year's Vuelta a España at the conclusion of stage 11.