Farrar confirms Garmin exit ahead of Tour of Britain

After almost eight years at Garmin, Tyler Farrar will change teams for 2015. The American, who will race the Tours of Britain and Beijing in the coming weeks, confirmed the news to Cyclingnews on Tuesday but refrained from announcing his future plans.

"It's all done for next year but I'm waiting on the team to make an announcement. I can confirm that I'm leaving Garmin," Farrar told Cyclingnews from his European base in Gent, Belgium.

Farrar signed for Garmin – then Garmin-Chipotle presented by H3O – in 2008 and is one of only four riders to still remain with the team from that year. Since his debut he has forged a career as a sprinter with a Classics pedigree, winning stages in all three Grand Tours, and titles in the Hamburg Classic and the Scheldeprijs. Although he has struggled for wins this season he has picked up a number of top fives places, including second in both Scheldeprijs and Dwars Doors Vlaanderen and fourth in Hamburg last month.

"Leaving is a little strange when you've been on a team for so long. It's been nearly eight years and it has become like family to a certain extent."

Farrar has been linked to a number of teams in recent weeks, including MTN-Qhubeka, who have been one of the most active squads in the transfer market. Farrar would not confirm his new team but admitted that while leaving Garmin would be tough, he is looking forward to a new challenge.

"It will be different but sometimes change can be a good thing and it's easy to become comfortable in one place after a while."

"I came to Garmin as a pretty young rider and I've matured. It's been a long run and I'm going to look back on it all very fondly."

The more immediate future will see Farrar head to the United Kingdom. First up is a ride with fans and sponsors organised at Garmin's headquarters in Southampton, before the more familiar but perhaps just as competitive Tour of Britain, which starts this Sunday in Liverpool.

Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel headline for the sprinters, but Farrar still believes that there are a number of opportunities for him. He may be changing teams come December but the 30-year-old is committed to remaining as professional as possible until the end of the season.

"I had a big break over the summer as I didn't do the Tour de France and it took a few races to get the body going again but I've gone well in the last couple of weeks. I had a good ride in Hamburg the weekend before last and I feel okay," he said.

"There are some good chances for me. I had a look at some of the stages yesterday and I see a few opportunities. I'll be going for it on all stages that suit me and I won't be passing up any opportunities that come my way. There are a few stages with a few climbs in the last 10 kilometres and that could be interesting if it breaks the race up a bit."

The rest of Farrar's race programme is still provisional but it's almost certain that he will make his debut in the Tour of Beijing next month, while he must wait on the USA's selection for Worlds.

"I'm waiting for a few selections, but I'll be going to the Worlds for the TTT and then I'm waiting on the selection for US for the road race. After that I'll do Franco Belge and then head to the Tour of Beijing. I've never been there but I'm looking forward to it. It wasn't originally on my plan as I was going to do Paris-Tours, but some things changed and now I'm going to China. It should be fun."

And while he may not have secured a win so far in 2014, he's still positive that the year has been a success after a consistent spring and a return to form in recent weeks.

"I think it's been a decent season. Obviously I haven't been wining but when it comes to the spring classics it's gone really well. I think I've a handful of top fives in the Classics this year and some top results, minus the wins. It's not a mind blowing season but at the same time I think I'm riding pretty well."

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