Crash catches Farrar out in Almeria finale

After making the front group with his lead-out man intact, a crash in the final kilometres of the Clasica Almeria dashed American Tyler Farrar's hopes of mixing it up with eventual winner Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) and runner-up Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar).

“We made the front selection with Matt [Brammeier] and Tyler, with Matt obviously doing all he could for Tyler,” said MTN-Qhubeka team director Alex Sans Vega.

“Tyler was feeling really good and said he had super legs. Unfortunately, he was caught behind the crash at 2km to go. Luckily he didn't go down but it meant he had no possible options to contest for the win. It is bad luck for our team because Tyler felt he really could have won, or at least finished on the podium today.”

Cavendish became the first British rider to win the Clasica Almeria, out-kicking Lobato and his own lead-out man, Mark Renshaw, at the line.

A five-rider break animated the early racing, but the chase led by Etixx-QuickStep and Team Katusha brought the race back together with about 40km remaining. The pressure of the chase and ever-present crosswinds split the bunch, with only 58 riders remaining at the front of the race.

“The race pretty much went as expected,” Sans Vega said. “There was a small break early on, which Etixx then controlled all day. As expected, we knew there could be crosswinds around the 45km mark, and that is exactly where it split.”

Having started the day with five riders, positioning Farrar was more difficult for MTN-Qhubeka, but Farrar and Brammeier were in the front selection. Farrar was ready to test his sprinting legs, but the MTN duo were caught behind the crash and lost their positions rapidly. Farrar finished the day in 47th position, 1:34 behind the winner.

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