After riding strong with the U.S. development program, and sprinting to a U.S. criterium championship in 2005, Tyler Farrar made the jump to the ProTour with the French Cofidis team. And despite injury for some of that time, he has continued his development into one of America's top future professionals. Now for 2008, Farrar comes home to an American team just as it makes a transition to full-time European racing. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski sat down with Farrar during the team's first camp in Boulder, Colorado:
If there is a text book out there to show young Americans the best way for progressing as a professional cyclist, Tyler Farrar probably read it. He was first noticed as a junior and amateur, winning both junior and espoir national championships while racing for the U.S. team in Europe – winning races such as the Three Days of Axel and Tour L'Abitibi in 2002. He then turned pro with the Jelly Belly team in 2003, followed by two years of racing and learning with top American team Health Net-Maxxis. This acted as a springboard for him to the top level in Europe, racing with Cofidis in the ProTour the past two seasons.
Though his first year in Europe was complicated by a hard crash at the 2006 Circuit de la Sarthe, Farrar recovered and continued on. In 2007 he won a stage of the Correios de Portugal and finished fourth in the Eneco Tour prologue.
These results, combined with the fact he is an American, put him in the sights of Jonathan Vaughters, as he assembled his short list of ProTour riders to bring to the Slipstream-Chipotle team in 2008. In a way, Farrar is a hybrid of what the team will be next year – at only 23 years old he is young like many of the current Slipstream riders, but with two years of ProTour racing and European living, he is on his way to being a salty veteran.
But for Farrar, the move to Slipstream has benefits for him. "In general I am just looking forward to being a part of something that is a new direction cycling seems to be taking," he said. "And being a part of this team as it is making this jump into the big time is pretty exciting. Hopefully I can help the team make that jump."
See the complete Tyler Farrar interview here.